The Overview:Twelve-year-old Hope has always felt a little different from everyone else who lives in White Rock. She tries hard, but she doesn’t always think before she acts. She takes big risks. Sometimes her risks pay off, but sometimes they fail. Sometimes she fails. Hope knows that the most dangerous thing about living in White Rock is that it’s so close to the deadly Bomb’s Breath—the invisible, fifteen-foot-thick band of compressed air that’s hovered over the earth since the Green Bombs of World War III. The citizens of White Rock live in fear of the Bomb’s Breath. Only Hope has figured out a way to go through it—and lived to tell the tale. But when a massive tremor rips across the earth, the Bomb’s Breath begins to lower over White Rock. It’s up to Hope and her friends Brock and Aaren to make the dangerous journey far from home across the bandit-ridden Forbidden Flats to the wilds of the Rocky Mountains and obtain the one thing that may be able to stop it—before the Bomb’s Breath sinks too far and destroys them all. This time, Hope can’t fail.
I thought the first book in this series (Sky Jumpers) was a fun story with great characters and a cool atmosphere. I’m predicting that Sky Jumpers: The Forbidden Flat will be even better than the first book because now that the world is established there is nothing left but to explore it! I am super excited to see how the story continues and think Eddelman is a strong addition to the middle grade market.
What book are you waiting on? Have you read Sky Jumpers yet?
The Overview: 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. 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.
Sky Jumpers is the perfect book to get your kids interested in futuristic (and somewhat dystopian) adventure stories – especially if they are a bit too young for Hunger Games and Divergent. Everything was perfectly engaging and exciting – from the great mission to save the valley to the trials of creating a good invention (my favorite part of the story – what fun!) and it was all just tame enough to be a good read for everybody.
As an adult reader (I use the term loosely), I found many things appealing: the overall concept, the atmosphere, and the characters. The only thing I could’ve used more of, at least in the beginning, was quicker pacing. The inciting incident didn’t take place until almost halfway through the book. Usually, that’s a big problem. In this case, it wasn’t totally detrimental to the story, but the book might’ve been stronger if it had more of a direction early on.
Here’s a couple of elements why, even without the inciting incident, I still really enjoyed the first half of the book: it had fun, engaging moments of mischief and great inner conflicts surrounding the main character. I really felt immersed into this girl’s world and her struggles to be a good daughter and a good inventor were more than enough to carry the story. Overall, it was a delightful read and one that I will definitely be suggesting to customers.
Recommended Reading: for anyone wanting to get absorbed in a fun adventure – especially those completely content picking up a middle grade book.