by Peggy Eddleman
Random House Publishers
September 24, 2013
Audience: 4th to 8th Grade
Fiction * Dystopian/Postapocalyptic * Adventure
What happens when you can't do the one thing that matters most? Twelve-year-old Hope Toriella lives in White Rock, a town of inventors struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb's Breath—the deadly band of compressed air that covers the crater left by the bombs—than fail at yet another invention. When bandits discover that White Rock has priceless antibiotics, they invade. With a two-day deadline to finish making this year's batch and no ingredients to make more, the town is left to choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from the disease that's run rampant since the bombs, or die fighting the bandits now. Help lies in a neighboring town, but the bandits count everyone fourteen and older each hour. Hope and her friends—Aaron and Brock—might be the only ones who can escape to make the dangerous trek through the Bomb's Breath and over the snow-covered mountain. Inventing won't help her make it through alive, but with Aaron and Brock's help, the daring and recklessness that usually gets her into trouble might just save them all.
My thoughts on the book:
Recently, I asked a group of 9 to 11 year olds what they liked to read. Nearly everyone in the group indicated books with action, and adventure. Another thing that I have noticed is that Middle Grade readers are just as interested as teens in reading Dystopian or Post-apocalyptic novels, yet there are very few of these for this age group.
Debut author, Peggy Eddleman has created a post-apocalyptic novel about a community of people living in a world with the after effects of World War III and the "green bomb". One of the results of the "green bomb" is something called "Bomb's Breath". I am not certain that I can describe Bomb's Breath but the air quality of Bomb's Breath results in immediate death if someone were to breath it in.
Eddleman concentrates on building her world and developing her characters in the initial part of the book. One of the things that is a very high value to this community is the ability to invent or create. Since WWIII happened, all the inventions especially technology and those items that required electricity have been lost. In an effort to regain items, there are contests recognizing the best inventors. Holly, the main character, does not have skills in inventing, but her friend Aaren is actually quite talented in this area. What Holly is able to do is revealed throughout the story, as it is her skills that turn out to be quite important in saving the community.
It is always difficult to know how much to share and how much to allow readers to discover. Eddleman has created a story and characters that will appeal especially to readers in the 4th and 5th grades. I can see children wanting to be like Hope and wanting to save the day. However, maybe a more important message is learning to appreciate what skills and talents you do have. Additionally, I appreciated not only the main characters but the supporting community of characters. There are few books that show a community of adults being caring and supportive. Readers will enjoy when Holly, Aaren, and Brock set out on an adventure to help save their community. And, though the book is the first in a series, it can also be read as a stand alone.
To share SKY JUMPERS with your own children or students start looking for it at your local public library or at you closest independent bookstore on September 24, 2013.
For more information about author, Peggy Eddleman:
SKY JUMPERS Blog Tour Stops
September 11th: Taffy’s Candy
September 12th: Smack Dab in the Middle
September 13th: Once Upon a Story
September 14th: Inky Elbows
September 15th: Society of Young Inklings
September 16th: Me, My Shelf & I
September 17th: Kayla’s Reads and Reviews
September 18th: The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
September 19th: Kid Lit Frenzy
September 19th: Word Spelunking
September 21st: The Mod Podge Bookshelf
September 22nd: The Write Soil
September 23rd: The Hiding Spot
September 23rd: Literary Rambles
September 23rd: Nerdy Book Club
September 24th: OneFourKidLit
Thanks to Random House, readers will have a chance to win a copy of SKY JUMPERS by Peggy Eddleman. Please complete the Rafflecopter form below. The winner must have a U.S. mailing address and be 13 or older. a Rafflecopter giveaway