It seems that all great novels are centered around an image, a single image. A red dragon. An old man fishing. A woman under the train. A ring of power. An intelligent planet. A secret wardrobe. Purple flowers. A bridge.
I just finished reading Bridge to Terabithia, more like swallowed it in one sitting, and the imagery was vey strong, once again. The story could be any other story, but the symbolism of the bridge and of the river is what got me. And, of course, it was warm and heartbreaking and real. I loved the stark truth of it, of what childhood is like, and school, and friendship, and pain, and the morbid humor. There was a sentence with the word "bitched"? I didn't know you could do this in kids books. All in all, it was my kind of book. Gave me courage to say "bitched" and "I will kill you" in my kids books too.