Book Review: Jumped In By Patrick Flores-Scott

Title: Jumped In 
By: Patrick Flores-Scott 
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
ISBN: 9781466837157
Pages: 224

Sam has the rules of slackerhood down: Don't be late to class. Don't ever look the teacher in the eye. Develop your blank stare. Since his mom left, he has become an expert in the art of slacking, especially since no one at his new school gets his intense passion for the music of the Pacific Northwest-Nirvana, Hole, Sleater-Kinney. Then his English teacher begins a slam poetry unit and Sam gets paired up with the daunting, scarred, clearly-a-gang-member Luis, who happens to sit next to him in every one of his classes. Slacking is no longer an option-Luis will destroy him. Told in Sam's raw voice and interspersed with vivid poems, this is a stunning debut novel about differences, friendship, loss, and the power of words.

I don't know what to really say about this story. I would recommend reading it. It makes you think and leaves you wondering if you loved it or hated it. 

Love it… because there is inspiration and belief that simple decisions can make a world of difference, individual actions and choices affect others and that is easy to forget when those choices are hard.

Hate it… because you wish those hardships and life difficulties would never touch the youth of the world, that children shouldn't have to have gloomy outlooks or have to make adult decisions before their minds are fully developed. 

All in all I ended up concluding this is a good book and a good read.  I was on the fence on whether or not to have my children read it.  I grew up in a city where gangs, broken homes, damaged abusive parents, poverty and hard choices were as routine as breathing these things were not occasionally witnessed but considered normal (and that was on the outskirts of the inner city.)  My children have had the luxury of those things being rare and usually isolated occurrences due to a small town move while still very young.  I think I will be having them read this book to broaden their horizons sometimes a protective bubble is just as deadly as giving into the belief that fear and violence is just a normal and acceptable part of life.

There is swearing in this book so if you censor violence, language and adult situations out of your children's reading…I would advise reading before allowing them to.  I limit censorship of my children's reading especially if the message of the book outweighs the language or violence in the story.
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received Jumped In at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received


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