Comprehension Questions

All answers must be written in cursive!!!! Points will be deducted if they are printed.

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Chapter One p. 1-8 

1.    What family problems did Jesse face? 

2.    What challenge did Jesse decide to take on?  What did that tell you about his personality?

3.    Why wasn’t Jess interested in the people moving into the house next door?

4.    Do you think Jess was treated fairly or unfairly by his mother and sisters?  Explain your answer.


Chapter Two p. 9 –18

1.    What did it mean that “Jess drew like some people drank whiskey?”

2.    How did Jess’s father feel about his son’s drawing?  Why did he feel that way?

3.    Why was Jess so fond of Miss Edmunds?

4.    Why didn’t Jess respond to his new neighbor’s offer of friendship? 


Chapter Three pages 19 – 28

1.    Why did Leslie make such a dramatic first impression on the fifth grade class?

2.    Why was Jess unhappy about his first day in fifth grade?

3.    Why did Jess say that he wanted Leslie to run in the boys’ race? 

4.    What conflicting emotions did Jess have in this chapter towards Leslie?  What caused him to feel this way?


Chapter Four pages 29 – 47

1.    Why was Jess no longer looking forward to the race?

2.    What did Jess’s smile at Leslie in the music room mean?  Why was this both a difficult and an important step for Jess?

3.    What made Leslie and her family seem odd to people in Lark Creek?

4.    What did Leslie’s essay about her hobby reveal about her character?

5.    Why do you think Jess decided to allow his classmates to know about his friendship with Leslie?


Chapter Five pages 48 – 56

1.    Why didn’t Leslie want Jess to fight Janice Avery?  Why did she think the letter would be a better way to get even?

2.    What immediate evidence did Jess and Leslie have that Janice believed the contents of the letter?

3.    Why did Jess compare his feelings toward Janice Avery to Leslie’s feelings about killer whales? 

4.    Why was this chapter called, “The Giant Killers?” 

5.  Do you think Janice deserved the punishment she received?  Why or why not?


Chapter Six pages 57 – 64


1.    Why did Jess fantasize that he was a foundling?

2.    Why did Jess find it so difficult to think of an appropriate Christmas gift for Leslie? 

3.    Who was Prince Terrien?  Why was this a good gift?

4.    Contrast (find differences between) what Jess received for Christmas from Leslie and what he received from his father?  Which gift was more appropriate and why?


Chapter Seven pages 65 – 77

1.    Compare and contrast Leslie’s relationship with her father with Jess’s relationship with his father.

2.    What did Jess mean when he said that the Burkes were smart in a way he had never known real live people to be? 

3.    What was the “sacred place?”  What was its importance to Jess and Leslie?

4.    What unwritten code of behavior did Janice break?  How did Leslie console her (make her feel better) and what advice did she offer her?

5.    How did Jess react when May Belle told him she knew where he went with Leslie?  Why did he react this way?


Chapter Eight pages 78 – 85

      1.    Why did Easter Sunday become a problem for Jess’s family?

2.    Why did Jess’s mother hesitate about taking Leslie to church? What was her main concern about her own family’s appearance that day?

3.    Why did Leslie want to go to church?

4.    What were Leslie’s opinions about the Bible?  How did this set her apart even more from the other people in Lark Creek?  How was Jess affected by her opinions?


Chapter Nine and Ten pages 86 –102

1.    What did Judy mean when she said, “I’m stuck?” 

2.    Why did Jess and Leslie visit Terabithia even though the weather was so bad?

3.    Why wouldn’t Jess tell Leslie that he would not go to Terabithia?           

4.    Why didn’t Jess ask Miss Edmunds if Leslie could go along with them to Washington? 

5.    Why did Miss Edmunds take Jess to the National Gallery?

6.    Why was this visit such a special treat to Jess? 

7.    How did Jess know something was wrong when he returned from Washington?  Why was his family so upset?


Chapters Eleven and Twelve pages 103 –117

1.    Why do you think Jess denied Leslie’s death when he first heard the news?

2.    Why did Jess imagine himself apologizing to Leslie for not including her in the trip to Washington? 

3.    How did Jess’s parents show Jess that they loved him and had sympathy for him? 

4.    How did Jess react when he saw Leslie’s grandmother and Bill in tears?

5.    Why was Jess angry that Leslie had been cremated?

6.    Why did Jess compare himself to an astronaut wandering about on the moon?

7.    Why did the Burkes give P.T. to Jess?  Why did Jess’s parents allow him to have a dog for the first time?   

8.    At what point did Jess’s numbness end? What emotions took the place of the numbness?