Bridge to Terabithia : Chapter 5
Summary of Chapter Five: The Giant Killers
Leslie makes up stories about giants who threaten Terabithia, but meanwhile, Janice Avery is the real giant at school who terrorizes the smaller children. She is big and mean, forcing kids to pay their lunch money as a toll to go to the bathroom. When Janice steals May Belle's Twinkies from her lunch, May Belle demands that her brother Jess beat up Janice. Leslie explains that if he beats up a girl, he will be expelled from school. Leslie promises they will do something else to bring her down. Jess and Leslie have a war council at their fortress. They decide making a fool of Janice is the best revenge.
They know she likes Willard Hughes so they forge a love note from him, and leave it in her desk. The note tells Janice to skip the school bus because Willard wants to walk her home. The kids on the bus notice that Janice is missing, and some of the girls say that she is on a date with Willard. The boys know that Willard has already gone home. Jess begins to feel bad about the lie, but Leslie thinks Janice gets what she deserves. May Belle is happy about the revenge.
Commentary on Chapter Five: The Giant Killers
Leslie uses her head to defeat an enemy instead of physical force. She is imaginative in the way she knows how to humiliate Janice. The fantasy world parallels the real world the children live in, and is a safety valve, for in Terabithia they are king and queen with powers. Leslie demonstrates that they can use this same kind of imagination in the real world to solve problems like Janice. They are just fighting the giants at school. Although the trick works, Jess is uncertain about the outcome. Janice is not really a giant, but another human being, as they find out. This demonstrates that he has a conscience. He is a sensitive boy.
Paterson, Katherine, Bridge to Terabithia, Illustrated by Donna Diamond, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1977.