Book review: 'Sky Jumpers' soars above the rest (+video)

By Tara Creel

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Sept. 21 2013 3:30 p.m. MDT

"SKY JUMPERS," by Peggy Eddleman, Random House Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 288 pages (f) (ages 9-14)

Utah author Peggy Eddleman gets everything right in her debut novel, "Sky Jumpers."

For a post-apocalyptic middle grade story, Eddleman manages to infuse hope and adventure onto every page and into every character. "Sky Jumpers" has plenty of action and more than enough heart to work its way into the hearts and minds of readers everywhere.

Twelve-year-old Hope was born in White Rock, a small town nestled in a crater formed by the Green Bombs of World War III. The bombs changed many things about the earth and its elements, causing the survivors to start over with nothing. Gone are the technology and luxuries humans had come to rely on. It is now the job of the remaining citizens to invent items that will help them in their new life.

Everyone in Hope's town excels at inventing, except her. She has always been drawn to adventure: including jumping off cliffs through the dangerous bomb's breath left by the bombs.

During a time when Hope feels like nothing but failure, disappointment and like an outcast, her town is thrust into emergency, and Hope's abilities are the only thing that can save residents.

Hope is a realistic and loveable character. Her voice jumps off the page as brilliantly as she jumps off cliffs. Hope is a character to believe in and want to cheer for. Her friends, Aaron and Brock, are lovely secondary characters who will hopefully re-emerge in future installments. Eddleman creates a despicable camp of bandits that will have both children and adults rooting for their downfall.

The world-building is solid and well-explored, pulling the reader into a time so different from the one in which they live, but so alike in the themes of survival and coming of age.

With pacing that alternates between pulling you along through Hope's antics, and pushing you forward through the town's adventures, "Sky Jumpers" is a quick and delightful read for all ages.

The content and language of "Sky Jumpers" is clean and age-appropriate.

If you go ...

What: "Sky Jumpers" book launch and Peggy Eddleman book signing

When: Thursday, Sept. 26, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Pleasant Grove City Library, 30 E. Center, Pleasant Grove

Web: plgrove.org, peggyeddleman.com

Note: Hosted by the King's English; in conjunction with Book Bash for Boys and Great Reads for Girls

Also ...

What: Peggy Eddleman book signing

When: Friday, Oct. 4, 6 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, peggyeddleman.com

'Sky Jumpers' book trailer

"Sky Jumpers" is a middle reader book by Utah author Peggy Eddleman and is scheduled to be released Sept. 24.

Tara Creel is a Logan native and mother of three boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com. Twitter: CreelTara

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