Bridge to Terabithia (1977)
[Un puente hasta Therabithia]

PATERSON, Katherine


  • Moral assessment: (L-A2) Nothing inappropriate, although it may not be appropriate for younger readers
  • Public: Generic

Jess Aarons, a boy of 11 living on the USA country, quite shy, is training to become the school's fastest runner. But on the very first day of classes, a new girl, Leslie Burke, wins in a race against all the boys. The two children become friends, and he discovers astonished that she is the only daughter of wealthy and educated family who have decided to move, from Washington, to a simple country house, without TV or any commodities, because "they were too much worried with success and money, and wanted to devote themselves to things really important." Leslie encourages Jess to build a secret place just for them in the woods (Terabithia), that can only be reached by crossing a stream balancing on a magic rope. The references to religion could be better handled. A simple book, with an unexpected outcome. A movie was made on 2007 based on this novel. J.G. (Portugal, 2017) Livro para crianças, ambientado no campo, nos EUA. Jess Aarons, um rapaz tímido de 11 anos, treina para ser o maior corredor da escola; mas no primeiro dia de aulas, uma menina nova, Leslie Burke, ganha a todos. Tornam-se amigos, e ele descobre assombrado que é filha única, de pais ricos e cultos, que decidiram mudar-se para uma casa simples, sem TV, porque "estavam demasiado presos pelo êxito e dinheiro, e queriam dedicar-se às coisas importantes". Leslie anima Jess a construírem no bosque um lugar secreto só para eles (Terabithia), onde só se pode chegar cruando um ribeiro balançando numa corda mágica. No livro a religião é tratado de forma um pouco leviana. Livro simples, entretido, que tem um desenlace inesperado. J.G. (Portugal, 2017)

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What do the moral assessments mean in relation to works of literature?

The assessments are divided into two groups, one for Literature (L) and the other for Thought (P). For Literature the assessments are as follows:

  •  L-A1: Nothing morally inappropriate.
  •  L-A2: Nothing morally inappropriate, although may be unsuitable for younger readers (e.g. because there are topics requiring a certain maturity on the part of the reader).
  •  L-B1: Some morally inappropriate content.
  •  L-B2: Contains significant sections contrary to faith or morals.
  •  L-C1: Contains some lurid passages, or presents a general ideological framework that could confuse those without much Christian formation.
  • L-C2: Contains several lurid passages, or presents an ideological framework that is contrary or foreign to Christian values.
  •  L-C3: Explicitly contradicts Catholic faith or morals, or is directed against the Church and its institutions.

What do the moral assessments mean in relation to non-fiction works?

Works of Thought (P) are assessed according to the degree of knowledge required to evaluate the implications of affirmations made with respect to the Christian faith.

  • P-A1 or P-A2: These books present doctrinal matters in accordance with the teaching of the Church as set out, for example, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. They avoid complicated topics and subjects not yet theologically settled. They are grouped according to whether or not they require a certain minimum of Christian formation.
    •  P-A1: General readership.
    •  P-A2: Readers with general cultural or basic Christian formation.
  • P-B1 or P-B2: To appreciate how certain topics impinge on the faith, the reader requires a good cultural formation with respect to the matters dealt with (P-B1), or even university-level studies in these areas (P-B2). In particular, these books may take for granted certain widely-held opinions opposed to the faith, even though such ideas may not be central to their argument – and can be easily detected by readers with a certain amount of formation.
    •  P-B1: Requires prior general knowledge of the subject.
    •  P-B2: Readers with Christian formation and knowledgeable about the subject matter.
  • P-C1, P-C2 or P-C3: Because of the implications of the topics dealt with, or the need to be aware of the reasons why some of the theories set out in the book are invalid, it is always necessary for the reader to have very good formation in the area in question, whether university-level (P-C1) or specialist (e.g. a doctorate: P-C2). Hence the assessments place emphasis on the objective content of the book, rather than on its possible readership. The P-C3 assessment is reserved for those works which set out to contradict or deny certain aspects of the faith or the teachings of the Catholic Magisterium.
    •  P-C1: Contains doctrinal errors of some importance.
    •  P-C2: Whilst not being explicitly against the faith, the general approach or its main points are ambiguous or opposed to the Church’s teachings.
    •  P-C3: Incompatible with Catholic doctrine.

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