Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release date: September 24, 2013
From the publisher: 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.
This is one of those books that wastes no time getting to the action. The story opens with Hope and her friend Aaron standing at the top a cliff, preparing to jump. But this isn’t just any cliff dive. This is a cliff dive through a toxic cloud, one left behind by the bombs that decimated the land during WWIII. Jumping through the Bomb’s Breath is like flying in slow motion. One moment you’re in free-fall, and the next, your movements are slowed and weightless until you drop out of the bottom of the cloud again. Thrilling, but take a breath at the wrong moment, and the thrill becomes deadly.
Sky Jumpers takes place in a world we hope to never see, but at the same time has a strangely real feel to it. WWIII has occurred, bringing with it atomic bombs that have destroyed the world as we know it. What’s left is a wasteland where small pocket communities live in isolation, populated only by the progeny of a few lone survivors who are starting over. Each community has a specialization: textiles, agriculture, invention. 12 year old Hope lives in White Rock, a community at the bottom of a giant crater, protected above by the Bomb’s Breath. The bombs have altered not only the landscape, but every part of day to day life. Properties of metals have changed, electricity is non-existent. Many of the inventions we take for granted today no longer exist, and some cannot ever be recreated. Everyone in White Rock is an inventor. It’s their inventions that are shared with the other communities, allowing them to live in “modern” society. But inventing doesn’t come easily to Hope. No matter what she does, her efforts at inventing are failures. To be embarrassed in front of her peers is bad enough, but to be a failure AND the daughter of one of the town’s leading members? That hurts Hope even more.
And then a danger completely unrelated to the Bomb’s Breath falls on the town, and Hope realizes that she may have something to offer after all. In fact, she may be the only one who can save the town of White Rock. What follows is a quest that teaches Hope about herself, about the world that she lives in, and about recognizing her own strengths, even when others can’t see them.
An edge-of-the-seat read for all those looking for adventure, especially those whose gifts sometimes go unrecognized.
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Read more about Sky Jumpers on the rest of the blog tour!
September 11th: Taffy’s Candy
September 12th: Smack Dab in the Middle
September 13th: HERE!
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