Elizabeth Varadan | The Children’s Book Review | February 18, 2016
Written by Peggy Eddleman
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (September 23, 2014)
What to Expect: Action and adventure, chase scenes, an unusual world, a strong female protagonist
Sky Jumpers depicts a post-apocalyptic world after World War III. Its spunky heroine, Hope Toriella, her best friend, Aaren, and their acquaintance, Brock, are risk-takers who like to climb the cliff at the town’s edge, hold their breaths, and jump through the Bomb’s Breath. Bomb’s Breath is their town’s name for a dense layer of air left after the Green Bomb wiped out civilization as we know it. Because of its density, one inhalation is fatal, but Hope and her friends have figured out how to safely jump through it.
In this unique world, people have had to rebuild small towns from scratch, trading with each other for the goods they can’t produce. Many are prey to roaming bandits. Hope’s town, White Rock, is in a crater directly below the Bomb’s Breath, so her townspeople consider themselves safe. White Rock has also cultivated a plant that yields an antibiotic, Ameiphus, the only cure for a Green Bomb-related illness called Shadell’s Sickness. In White Rock, a premium is placed on the ability to invent, and a harvest festival is held each year to honor inventions. (Inventions we take for granted in this age now are only relics. A reinvention of something like our flashlight is considered a major achievement.)
One day, bandits find a way through an old mine tunnel and take the town of White Rock hostage. They want all of White Rock’s Ameiphus, and they have a deadline. Hope, clumsy with the simplest of inventions, is quick-witted and can come up with solutions in difficult situations. While the adults are captive, Hope comes up with a plan to save White Rock, but it’s risky, and to the last, the reader is kept wondering how she and her friends will get out of each new situation.
This is a gripping book, and its pacing never lets up. Characters feel realistic for the world the author has built. The good news is that Sky Jumpers is the first book in what promises to be an exciting series.
“I ran like my life depended on it, which didn’t take a lot of imagination. When I reached the edge of the orchard, the running bandit was so close I could hear his breathing, and the man on the horse closed in on me.”
Sky Jumpers will appeal to middle grade readers who like thrillers and post-apocalypse worlds.
Add this book to your collection: Sky Jumpers
About the Author
PEGGY EDDLEMAN lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Utah with her husband and their three hilarious and fun kids. Sky Jumpers is her first novel.
Sky Jumpers, written by Peggy Eddleman, was reviewed by Elizabeth Varadan. Discover more books like Sky Jumpers by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Action, Adventure, Dystopian, and Middle Grade Books.