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Posts Tagged ‘Jumped

jumpedTold in three alternating perspectives, Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of one school day in the life of three very different girls at an inner city high school: Dominique, the tough basketball player determined to teach another classmate a lesson; Trina, the pretty and artistic girl unaware of what she’s in for once the final bell rings; and Leticia, the observer of it all from start to finish who must decide to take action and warn Trina, or just let it happen.

This novel shines. The prose is honest, and at times has almost a Slam poetry feel to it. But the real centerpiece of the novel is the characters. Jumped is almost a character study in a way. Each of the three girls are much more than they seem. The writing never stoops to stereotypes or caricatures.

For me, Leticia is the one who brings everything together. Her observations reign the other girl’s perspectives in and put small details in focus. At one point, Leticia sums up the crux of the novel, the reason Trina is getting jumped, a fact of life that Trina is not aware of, and Dominique follows without verbalizing:

“When you’re an outsider, you should know your situation. Know who you are when you step out. Know what you can and can’t do.”

However, Leticia’s observations are not meant to influence readers into judgments of the characters. Readers are really left to decide for themselves what to think of the characters and their actions.

Jumped is a gritty, compelling novel from start to finish. I’d consider this award-worthy.

Rating: 4.5 sketch books out of 5.

Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia
Published: March 1st 2009 by Amistad
Binding: Hardcover, 176 pages
ISBN: 0060760915
Reading Level: Young Adult


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Books That Go Bump in the Night- Halloween and scary books for kids and teens. My other blog.