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Chilling book about girl-on-girl violence will leave mark.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Readers may appreciate comparing this book to their own high school experience, and also talking about what they would have done in Leticia's situation.

Positive messages

Careful readers will understand that this book not only looks at the rise of girl violence in high schools (and how much more "personal" it often is) -- but more importantly it's about the importance of getting involved before events get out of hand.

Positive role models

The main characters are not meant to be role models, but high school readers may relate to some of their feelings about school life -- both its chaos and its strict rules can leave students feeling out of control. 


There is a menacing atmosphere: a police officer greets students at the front door and a teacher starts stuttering when Dominque confronts him about her grade. The book culminates in a student being beaten into a coma.


There is mild flirting and discussion of two girls who are presumed to be gay. One girl admits, "I was mad and had to do something and mad sex is some good s--t, yo."


Some swearing like "s--t," "ass" and "bitch." One girl uses a slur to describe two girls who may be lesbians. Some other vulgar language describing bodies, etc.


A few mentions of brand names like Juicy and M.A.C.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this National Book Award finalist is about a girl-on-girl fight that's so severe that one girl ends up in a coma. Careful readers will understand that this book not only examines how much more "personal" girl violence is -- but more importantly, it also reveals the importance of getting involved before events get out of hand. The most chilling character is the one who knows about the planned attack but does nothing -- and doesn't really seem to care after an innocent girl is left in a coma. There is some frank language and one girl admits, "I was mad and had to do something and mad sex is some good s--t, yo."

What's the story?

This book is told from the perspective of three urban teens: Artistic, annoying Trina, self-absorbed, self-described "Big Girl" Leticia, and angry basketball-obsessed Dominque. During the course of one day, Trina inadvertently disrespects Dominique, who tells her friends she will beat her up at the end of the school day. Leticia overhears this plan, but decides not to warn Trina about what's coming. And then the attack happens.

Is it any good?


Overall, this is a very authentic book that captures the menacing atmosphere of so many high schools. The book's message is subtle here, and some readers may need a parent or teacher's help to get it: At the end, Dominique remains unremorseful about putting Trina in a coma -- but really it's Leticia, who knew of the planned attack and did nothing, that is really at the heart of this book. Her lack of action  -- and lack of real caring even in the aftermath -- provide the book's most chilling moments. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the high school depiction here. Students have to walk by a police officer to go to school and a teacher is so afraid when confronted by a student that he starts stuttering.  How does the school compare to yours? Does this one seem realistic?

  • This book is a National Book Award finalist. Why do you think it was honored this way? Does it deserve an award?

Book details

Author:Rita Williams-Garcia
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:February 24, 2009
Number of pages:176
Publisher's recommended age(s):12

This review of Jumped was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byMISTY.F. November 23, 2011


i think this book is trying to teach kids that if they are having a confrontation with another kid in school or anywhere that they shouldn't go straight to violence like the girls did in this book and that they should go to a teacher and let them deal with the situation.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written bylsingh April 22, 2012


Jumped is an aggressive book about children who have no other way to express there anger to others except for violence.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bydnoristz October 31, 2010

Easier to understand and enjoy for teenage children.

This story, though it may portray bad plot involving violence, greatly explains the true sides of school bullying. Being a reader of this book at age 14 and being able to analyze it further as more than just the text on the pages, I can see that there is more to the book. In the book, the three parties of bullying are shown. In every act of bullying, there is the bully, the victim, and the bystander. Towards the end of the novel, you learn that had any one of those girls in the bullying act taken the time to think about what was going on or why they were doing what they were doing, the whle story would hve ended differently. This book in my opinion was entertaining and enjoyable to read because teenage children can sometimes relate to situations like this whether more serious or less dramatic. In all, it was a good book and when rating please remember that this is a fictional story but the author did spend many hours roaming various highschools and interpreting behavior amongst the students in order to develop the story.


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