Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Jumper Book Poster Image
Captivating, complex sci-fi about teleporting teen.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Jumper deals with its outlandish premise thoughfully and with a great deal of intellectual rigor. Author Steven Gould takes pains to imagine the real consequences of someone being able to teleport to practically any place on the planet.

Positive Messages

Jumper examines the question of whether revenge is ever justifiable. Davy initially wants to hurt his father as payback for all the beatings he endured as a child. He also is tempted to torture the terrorist responsible for the death of his mother. But he eventually realizes that there's a price to pay for indulging his worst impulses.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Davy Rice, the protagonist of Jumper, is a brave and resourceful young man who struggles to overcome the trauma he's received at the hands of his abusive father. When he discovers he has the ability to teleport, he at first uses his ability for illegal purposes, such as robbing a bank. In general, though, he struggles to do what's right and not hurt others, even when confronted by irrefutable evil.


The opening pages of Jumper are especially violent, with Davey being assaulted by his abusive father and then enduring a narrow escape from a gang rape at a truck stop. The level of violence drops significantly after those first chapters, but later in the book, a woman is killed in a plane hijacking. He seeks vengeance against the man responsible, but also begins to question whether he should be allowed to take a life for a life.


A boy loses his virginity and embarks on a serious romantic relationship with his slightly older girlfriend. Their relationship is one of mutual respect, and they practice safe sex (which is not describe in any clinical detail).


The language in Jumper is strong, but not gratuitous. There are multiple uses of "damn," "hell, "s--t," and "piss," as well as perhaps a dozen instances of "f--k." Characters sometimes use "God" and "Jesus" as exclamations.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Because of his experience with his alcoholic father, Davey is a near tee-totaler, though he does bring a magnum of champagne to a hometown party and later has cocktails with his older girlfriend. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jumper is a fast-paced science fiction adventure about a 17-year-old boy learning to use his ability to teleport. The opening chapters are unsettling -- featuring a beating by a parent and an attempted rape by a stranger -- but the level of violence decreases significantly, at least until a subplot about a terrorist hijacking, in which a woman is killed. Davy's father is an alcoholic, but Davy is a near-teetotaler. The book's language is realistic but can be rough, with multiple uses of "damn," "hell, "s--t," and "piss," as well as perhaps a dozen instances of "f--k."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 14 years old Written byKingRobert December 31, 2017

Really addicting

I finished this book in two days, not lying.

What's the story?

As he suddenly discovers during a beating from his alcoholic father, 17-year-old Davey Rice has the ability to \"jump,\" to teleport to any location he's been to before and can reconstruct in his memory with sufficient detail. Jumping allows him to escape from abuse at home, but it's not easy for a teenager to survive in a place like New York City with no money and no identification. Davey must learn to live safely and happily with an awesome talent, even though there will terrible tragedies that he can't avoid.

Is it any good?

JUMPER is a clever, captivating, suspenseful science fiction adventure with a troubled yet resourceful young protagonist. Author Steven Gould treats his outlandish premise with as much realism as possible, examining the physical and emotional consequences that an ability like teleportation might bring. The narrative zigzags in unexpected directions, but the complexity of the characters keeps the story grounded and compelling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about teleportation as a common theme in science fiction. What's so intriuguing about it? 

  • If you could commit a crime with an absolute guarantee that you would not get caught, would you?

  • Is revenge ever satisfying? What should an individual do in response to someone who hurts them deeply? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate