Thing 2

You Never Forget Your First.

I guess I should issue a spoiler alert for this entry about the book Bridge to Terabithia? I feel like – especially since they made the movie and the book is now on every school’s reading list – everyone probably knows what happens. BUT IF YOU DO NOT…and you don’t want to know…don’t read this entry.


I tweeted the above tweet a few days ago. I have no idea why Nikki starting reading Bridge to Terabithia but I was remember reading it – AS A GROWNUP – and bawling my eyes out when one of E’s friends recommended it to me way back in 2003ish. I was reading it in my car (it was probably cold because I was still a smoker then and didn’t smoke inside) and just sobbing my eyes out. I WAS TERRIFIED FOR NIKKI. As far as I knew, she had never cried over a book before. She got a little choked up during book 4 of Harry Potter (she’s not further than that) and maybe a few tears fell, but Terabithia was a whole other beast.

If you follow me on Twitter you know she finished it last night. She had already started suspecting someone might die because Donnie and I – evidently – both asked her “When do you think you’ll finish it?” separately and she got suspicious that something bad might happen. I was at the table with her when she was near the end and she said, “Wait. Oh, no…I was right. Someone did die.” She sounded a little doubtful though…sad, but doubtful. Then she said to herself a little later, “Oh…okay. It was a dream…” But still…a tone of doubt and also a tone of questioning.

AND THEN…OH MY GOD IT WAS TERRIBLE…She just started sobbing and said, “It’s not a dream…she’s really dead…” and as she’s reading she’s just crying her eyes out and I’m crying and I go over and hug her as she’s reading AND IT WAS TERRIBLE AND WE SHOULD ALL BAN ALL THE BOOKS.

After she finished it she said she liked it, and she spoke a little fondly of it to Donnie when he got home, but you could tell there was also a part of her that really wished she hadn’t read it. It hurt too much.

You never forget your first biblio-heartbreak. Mine was the first book in the Dawn Rochelle series: 6 Months To Live. I had a weird thing for awhile for kids-might-die books. I rotated between Kids With Diseases and Kid’s Surviving Plain Crashes. I tried to find my FAVORITE Kid Surviving Plane Crash book but no matter how many variations I Googled to find it I couldn’t because I couldn’t remember the exact title (Something about woods? I know the cover. Girl in the woods, shadow watching her.), but I did find my SECOND favorite. Mayday! Mayday!

Anyway…let’s hope this doesn’t start the weird trend for her that it did for me!

13 thoughts on “You Never Forget Your First.”

  1. I can’t remember if Bridge to Terabithia was my first kid death book or if it was Lois Lowry’s Summer to Die. It might have been Terabithia. But the impression left on me by Summer to Die was the image of the sister and the nosebleeds and it covering a pillow. EVERY time a kid I know has a spontaneous nose bleed, that is all I can think about. (I recently reread it because I couldn’t remember it all and wanted to see if it was ok for my oldest to read. And once again, I bawled my eyes out.)

  2. So, i had blocked that book from my memory…Flash forward to 2015! My BFF’s daughter is a drama high-school kid and we’re going to her show! Bridge to Terabithia! YAY, it’ll be awesome I thought!
    Then I got the playbill and read the scene titles, OH NO.

  3. My daughter just started Bridge to Terabithia. I’m scared. My first book cry was Where the Red Fern Grows. I have never read it again. The 10 year old inside me just can’t handle it.

  4. I cry at all kinds of books. Heck, even dog food commercials can bring on the tears for me. I remember when my 5th grade teacher was reading Where the Red Ferns Grows to the class… I couldn’t stand how slow it was going, so got it and read it for myself. Was so glad I did so I didn’t have to break down in class, like our teacher did!

    Is this the book you are thinking of?

  5. My first “human” death read was also Six Months to Live. However, I have never recovered from reading Where the Red Fern Grows in third grade. I’m a little teary just thinking about it. Hope Nikki is a little better today.

  6. OMG the death book phase! I’m so glad to hear I wasn’t the only one. I think my mom was a little worried about me for awhile there. Six Months to Live, Why Did She Have to Die, Too Young to Die… I feel like I read them all. I don’t even put Where the Red Fern Grows in the same category with those cancer kid books, though… I feel like that one is actually quality literature.

  7. For my kids it was two different books. The older one was Where the Red Fern Grows and the second one was White Fang.
    I don’t remember being torn apart by books when I was a kid, but I do remember being an adult and losing it over several books. I read Bridge to Terabithia when my boys were assigned it, and I cried a little, but I don’t remember being upset by it. My oldest was though, but he had grown used to having books tear him up at that point.

  8. Terebithia was the first book that made me cry. It was fourth grade, and our teacher used to give us free reading time and we could sit anywhere in the classroom and read to ourselves. I was sitting under her desk when I finished the book THANK GOD.
    It was not pretty.
    However, I remember coming away with an overwhelming sense of awe that words on a piece of paper could make a person have such a real response. I went on to major in Literature.
    Not that it’s some great thing. I haven’t found a single person willing to lay me to read books, yet! 😉

  9. I never read Bridge to Terabithia — now I’m thankful for that — but I do remember all those Kids With Diseases books. I seem to remember one called I Want to Live! (or something dramatic like that). I didn’t cry over them because they seemed like they were trying too hard to *make* the reader cry. Ugh.

  10. There were 2 for me when I was a kid. I don’t remember which came first: Bridge to Terabithia and the Giver. Sobbed my little eyes out on both of those.

    My 9-year old son has now read both of them and had a similar reaction. But books don’t stay with him too long because he reads so dang much (thank goodness for library eBooks), so he moves on to the next adventure quickly.

  11. The first books I can remember crying while reading were The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (when the White Queen kills Aslan) and Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid (where Ariel does NOT marry the prince and dies at the end). I can’t recall any books that made me so sad I’d never recommend or re-read them. Mostly I got mad at the injustice of sad things. I am such a voracious reader, though, I just moved on to something happy to balance out the trauma. 🙂

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