Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book 37 - Jumped by Rita Williams-Gracia - inner city somewher in USA

Perspectives - three different young women, attend the same school, are in the same grade, the events all happen on the one day, three very different perspectives.

Trina: "Hey" I say, though I don't really know them. The boy-ed up basketball girl barely moves. The others, her girls, step aside. It's okay if they don't speak. I know how it is. They can't all be Trina.

Dominique: Some stupid little flit cuts right in between us and is like, "Hey." Like she don't see I'm here and all the space around me is mines. I slam my fist into my other hand because she's as good as jumped.

Leticia: Why would I get involved in Trian's life when I don't know for sure if I saw what I thought I saw? Who is to say I wasn't seeing it from the wrong angle?
While Dominique is a basketball player the "Jumped" title of this book is not refering to basketball but to a fight. Letitia is trying to make up her grades. She has a math class before school to try to improve her grade. She is lacking motivation and feels disconnected with her school world now her friend is on job placement. She knows the code though and she know how dangerous Dominque can be when she is crossed. Dominique is furious. She has been benched by the coach until her grades improve. She blames her science teacher for this and tries to bully him into changing her grade. Life is all about how she sees things, her space, her sport, her girls - she is in control - until coach benches her. Trina is all about drawing attention to herself. Wearing hot pink outfits, trying to be friendly with everyone, failing to read how others are really reacting to her attention seeking antics.

This is a book brimming with tension. It is set in an inner city school somewhere in the USA. At this school there are police officers patrolling the hallways. The teachers lock the doors to keep problem students out. It is a compelling read, especially as each chapter is from one of the three girls' perspectives. I was wondering, however, as I read if any of my students would relate to it. Our school is nothing like the one Trina, Letitia and Dominique attend. Having sadi that though sometimes the best the most thought provoking stories are those that bare little resemblance to your own world. I will try this out with some of my avid readers and see what they think.
Common Sense media's discussion tips for the book - worthwhile reading...

Rita Williams-Garcia's website

A review from a teacher at Berkley High