Bridge to Terabithia

by Katherine Paterson

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Why does Jess like May Belle?

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Jess in the only male child in his family. He has four sisters: two are older than him, and two are younger than him. Readers are told already in chapter one that Jess's older sisters despise him. They tease him mercilessly, and they are often just downright mean. Jess likes May Belle because she is the one sister that worships the ground that he walks upon. May Belle absolutely adores Jess, and she thinks everything he does is super cool. Jess is annoyed by her constant desire to hang out with him; however, he also enjoys the feeling of hero worship that he gets from May Belle. May Belle simply loves Jess because of who he is. She likes that he runs. She likes that he plays and has an imagination. She doesn't think his art is weird or anything like that. She loves him for who he is, and that is something that Jess doesn't even get from his father.

May Belle was another matter. She was going on seven, and she worshiped him, which was OK sometimes. When you were the only boy smashed between four sisters, and the older two had despised you ever since you stopped letting them dress you up and wheel you around in their rusty old doll carriage, and the littlest one cried if you looked at her cross-eyed, it was nice to have somebody who worshiped you.

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Even though she can be a bit annoying, she is the only sibling and even family member that Jess has a good relationship with. She adores Jess and wants to follow him around. Jess finds this annoying, but yet he is very defensive of May Belle when Janice Avery steals MB's twinkies on the school bus. After Leslie's death, he introduces the magical world of Terabithia to Maybelle. He recognizes she is the only one in his family that shares his imaginary and creative side.

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