Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles; read in November, 2009.  Copy purchased for my school library.

Description from GoodReads:

Tells, from four points of view, the ramifications of a pregnancy resulting from a “one-time thing” between Ellie, who feels loved when boys touch her, and Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life.

Another one that fell through the cracks, unfortunately.  Jo Knowles examines how one unwanted teenage pregnancy can affect many people, and the outcomes from the different choices available to someone when an unwanted pregnancy is discovered.  Because the story is told through four distinct voices, the reader is able to see not only this pregnancy from different perspectives, but also hear about friends and family members who had to deal with their own pregnancies in their lives.  This is an interesting way to let teen readers see into a world of choices, especially if they have also read Amy Efaw’s After.

Of the four main characters, I felt like Ellie, the pregnant girl, was the weakest.  Partly because of the stereotypical way she handles sex, partly because I felt like her purpose was to be “the pregnant one” while the other three were a little more developed.

This is definitely a “problem novel” – the reader is dropped into the beginning of the problem, and the book ends with the characters trying to move on after facing the problem.  These are not characters one will hope to read about again; there is nothing else really to take away from the book beyond the realities of teen pregnancy.  But it serves its purpose well enough, is a fast read, and will appeal to teens who enjoy reading these types of books.

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1 Comment

Filed under review, young adult lit

One response to “Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

  1. I read this book a while ago and i thought it was okay. The best thing about it was how it was written from different points of views. I agree on what you said – it was definitely a “problem novel” and a fast read.

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