Jumping Off Swings

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Jumping Off Swings Book Poster Image
Fast-moving coming-of-age tale with sex and consequences.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The novel moves swiftly, making it a good choice for reluctant readers. And because there are consequences for actions, it's a great book to start discussions with teens about sex and relationships.

Positive Messages

This is a book about sex and its consequences. It will give readers a lot to think about, including what teens are looking for when they enter sexual relationships, and the different ways sexual rumors impact male and female reputations.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are several positive adult and teen role models in this novel. Most of the teens, whether they've made bad decisions or not, are honest about their feelings, which is something that parents would love their kids to model.

Violence

A girl has a first sexual encounter that is rough and she bleeds after; she describes the blood as part of a memory. A man is known for beating up his wife and son.

Sex

There are discussions of multiple "hook-ups" between the main character and a variety of boys. One time a condom breaks, resulting in a pregnancy. A girl describes feeling semen. Reference to a girl who had an abortion.

Language

Some swear words like "a--hole" and "bitch" are used, plus a couple uses of "f--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

At least two adults engage in alcohol abuse, and teens are often seen drinking. One adult gives a teen a beer and they drink together.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book about unplanned pregnancy has frank talk about sex and relationship issues among teens. The main character sleeps with many boys and one "hook-up" results in pregnancy. There is some swearing (including "f--k"), copious drinking (adult alcoholism and teen drinking), and discussions of abortion and unplanned pregnancies. Parents and teachers can use this book to start discussions with teens about sex and relationships. It will give readers a lot to think about, including what teens are looking for when they enter sexual relationships, and the different ways sexual rumors impact male and female reputations.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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

Teen, 15 years old Written byrayg February 5, 2012

good OVERALL messge

It shows how pregnancy can effect you and would probibly encourage teens to "avoid it"
Teen, 16 years old Written byhockey4life729 May 18, 2012

Positive Message

This book gave a postive message for teenagers. Even though Ellie got Pregnant she gave her baby to someone who deserved it more than her. This kind of made her... Continue reading

What's the story?

Ellie keeps getting played by the guys she has sex with, including Josh. Hoping for a romantic relationship, she thinks each experience will be different and each time they use her. When Ellie finds out she's pregnant after her and Josh's "one time thing," her life changes and so does the lives of those around her, including Corinne, her best friend, Caleb, who's had a crush on her for years, and Josh. What is she going to do? What can she do?

Is it any good?

Jo Knowles makes a common story more interesting by presenting it from four different perspectives: Ellie's, Josh's, Josh's friend Caleb's, and Ellie's best friend Corinne's. That gives layers, texture, and depth to what would have been a basic sex-and-teens novel. The characters all possess a vulnerability that rings true, and that readers will relate to.

The novel moves swiftly, making it a good choice for reluctant readers. And because there are consequences for actions, it's a great book to start discussions with teens about sex and relationships.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about books and other media about teen pregnancy. How is this one different? Did you find Ellie's attitude about sex to be realistic? What about her supportive friends?

  • After they have sex, Josh is celebrated by their peers while Ellie ends up with a bad reputation. Does that seem like something that would happen at your high school?

Book details

For kids who love dramas and coming-of-age tales

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