Leslie Burke
Leslie Burke is a fictional character in the award-winning book and movies Brigde to Terabithia. She was portrayed by the canadian actress Julie Beaulieu in the 1985 telefilm and by the young actress AnnaSophia Robb in the 2007 movie.


Aliases : Queen of Terabithia

Gender : Female

Age: 12

Occupation : Student

Title : "Queen"

Family : Judy & Bill Burke (parents), Prince Terrien or P.T. (pet dog)

Significant other(s) : Jess Aarons (Best friend) / (Love interest)

Real life inspirationEdit

Debbie Elliot reports that "Katherine Paterson was inspired to write Bridge to Terabithia after her son's childhood friend Lisa Hill was struck and killed by lightning.

Fictional biographyEdit

She recently moved to Lark Creek as of this book and movie. Leslie is a smart, talented, and outgoing girl, her talents include creativity and running. She can run faster than any of the boys in her class. She was not socially accepted by the other students in the new school she was attending. She and Jess Aarons are outcasts at their school. Jess Aarons thought highly of her, and was best friends with her. For Christmas, Jesse gave Leslie a dog whom she called Prince Terrien or P.T.

Jesse has a crush on his young music teacher, Miss Edmunds, and would do anything to be with her. The central crisis occurs when Jesse accompanies Miss Edmunds to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and Leslie goes to Terabithia alone.

Near the end of the book, while Jesse is away at a museum, Leslie tries to swing across on the rope to Terabithia. As she is swinging, the rope snaps (as Jesse warned her it would) and she plummets into the creek, hitting her head on one of the rocks, and she went into unconsciousness and drowned. This deeply shocks Jesse, who considered her death his fault, as he had considered inviting her to go with him to Washington D.C. and had decided against it so he could be alone with his music teacher. It was then that Leslie tried to cross to Terabithia alone, ultimately the cause of her death. Jesse can overcome his grief only with the strength and courage that his friendship with Leslie has given him. Jesse must trust in what Leslie has taught him to help over come the horrors that reality can bring and with their friendship it helps Jesse to cope with the tragedy. Their friendship makes him realize what Leslie has also taught him, to open his mind to every possibility and leave reality behind.

And Jesse attempts to deal with his grief by going back to Terabithia, and making a memorial for Leslie. He worries that Leslie will not enter Heaven, because she does not believe in Jesus. When his father follows him into the forest, Jesse begins to cry and his father hugs him. Jesse expresses his worry about Leslie through his sobs, with Jesse's father comforting him.

He hears a cry for help and finds his younger sister, May Belle, calling for help. She was trying to get to Terabithia too by climbing on a tree bridge over the river but got stuck in the middle. He helps her out.

Leslie's grief-stricken parents decide to move away. Before they go away her father tells Jesse that Leslie loved him and thanks him for being such a good friend to her.

In the book and 1985 film , Leslie refers to her parents by their first names, but in the 2007 film, she calls them Mom and Dad.


In the 1977 book Leslie went to school the first day wearing cut-offs and a t-shirt. In the 2007 movie, Leslie's clothes were outrageous and colorful, primarily because of the time alteration between the novel and film. She also has on armwarmers.

In 2007 filmEdit

In the 2007 movie, the young actress AnnaSophia Robb played as Leslie Burke. When asked, "What did you like about it and what did you see in Leslie that you related to?" Robb replied, "I love Leslie's character and the story of friendship and imagination and bullies and giants and trolls and squogers." Robb has received praise from one critic for her "charming performance." Todd Gilchrist and Christopher Monfette go further with their praise of the performance, writing, "Robb, meanwhile, has the same sort of radiance that Natalie Portman did at her age, and seems poised to become one of Hollywood's next great child actors. Knowing how to portray Leslie's cleverness and uniqueness as inadvertent, incidental, or even unconscious, Robb plays perfectly the exact kind of girl who could always beat all of the boys at sports - and they would still love her for it." James Plath asserts, "it's AnnaSophia Robb who really shines. Her character is supposed to be a life-changing life force, one of those clichéd people who can light up the room and change the energy level just by walking into it, and that's how it is. When she's onscreen, there's a special feeling."


  • In the book, Leslie is based off of Lisa Hill, who was best friends of the author, Katherine Patterson's son who died from being struck by lightning. Accoreding to Katherine Patterson, it took a while to work up the courage to kill the girl she had written back to life
  • A common theme in fanfiction based on Bridge to Terabithia, are stories about what would have happened if Leslie didn't die. Others say that she didn't die at all, but was abducted by the Dark Master.
  • Leslie Burke is also the title of a song by Austin, Texas pop band The Sour Notes, inspired by Leslie's rope swing accident while entering Terabithia.
  • A fanfic named "Bridge to Terabithia 2: Welcome to Paris " tells that Leslie faked her death, made everything up with Jess and Ms.Edmunds and goes to Paris for a new life with Jess....(
Bridge to Terabithia 2 Welcome to Paris