Anywhere is Possible, Seeing the World from a Different View.


Steven Gould, Jumper. New York, NY: A Tor Book, 1992.

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"The first time was like this. 'Not the buckle, Dad! You Promised!' He extended his arm until he held me against the wall at arm's length and swung the belt back slowly. Then his arm jerked forward and the belt swung through the air and my body betrayed me, squirming away from the impact and...I was leaning against bookshelves, I was in the fiction section of the Stanville Public Library. That was the first time" (3-4).

"The second time was like this. The truck stop was new and busy, and island of glaring light and hard concrete in the night. 'Been on the road long, kid?' I jerked my head up. A man, sitting in the last seat of the drivers' section, was looking at me. My name's Topper. Topper Robbins. What's yours? Davy...Just Davy. Well, Davy I'm driving that PetroChem tanker out there and I'm headed west in about forty-five minutes. If you're going that way, I'll be glad to give you a ride.' He drove down the rural two-lane for a while, then pulled off the road at a country store with two gas pumps out front. 'Come on kid. Want you to meet some guys.' To climb down, I had to turn and face the cab, then feel with my feet for the step. A hand guided my foot to the step and I froze. They grabbed my arms and carried me over to the open tailgate of a pickup. They slammed me down on the bed of the truck. My face hit and I tasted blood. One of them jumped up on the truck bed and straddled my back, his knees and shins pinning my upper arms, one hand gripping my hair painfully. I pitched forward, the pressure off my arms and hair, the hands off my bottom. It was dark, but the air was still and I was alone. I was back in the fiction section of the Stanville Public Library and I was sure I'd gone mad. That was the second time" (7-8).
*Note: I've left out some explicit details to keep it tasteful.

David Rice, a teenager leading a difficult life, is the hero of Gould's Jumper. The book begins with David dealing with an abusive, alcoholic father. His mother had left David and his father when David was twelve, meaning that David has to fend for himself. However, one night, when his dad is on a drunken rampage, David suddenly finds himself in the town's library miles away. From this point onward, David decides that he's going to run away from his father, learning that he has the ability to "jump," or teleport, to any point on the globe that he can visualize in his mind. Along the way, he realizes that he needs money to survive, and decides to rob a bank. He meets Millie, a young lady from Oklahoma, and falls in love with her. However, when David's mother is killed in a terrorist attack in Europe, David decides to get revenge on the terrorist mastermind and seeks him out in Europe. Meanwhile, National Security are seeking him out, trying to capture him, considering him a terrorist. Packed with suspense, action, and romance, Jumper is a book more likely aimed at older adolescents, filled with frequent violence, profanity, sex scenes and innuendoes, and other content that may be viewed as inappropriate for certain age groups.

Recommendations for Teachers
Though this book tackles many important issues, it would not be appropriate to teach in a classroom. It seems unlikely that the majority of our adolescent population will be faced with such issues as rape, running away, bank robberies, and dealing with terrorists (at least let's hope not). Yet some of them will, and it is more appropriate that parents address these issues instead of teachers, unless it is absolutely necessary. Steven Gould had the right idea when he wrote this book because he addressed things that people are more likely to avoid talking about. With the acception of teleportation, he wrote what is real. When writing about David's journey from home he makes his struggle for survival very real, especially when David says "I've been hitching, panhandling a little, some odd jobs. Last two days I picked apples--twenty-five cents a bushel and all I could eat. I also got some clothes out of it" (5). Also when writing about the terrorist attack that took David's mother's life he makes it real by taking the news reporters voice, saying "The hostage crisis in Algiers Airport is over, leaving one hostage dead and several wounded" (174). Whenever we hear on the news that someone has died we immediately get a pit in our stomachs and the notion that it could be sombody we know and love. In the case of the book it was, which makes it even more painful and real. However, the most real situation of all is the scence where David is almost raped at the truck stop. Gould makes the scene graphic and he doesn't hold back. He not only uses it to shock people but to show them how real these situations and issues can be. Though it is not appropriate for teachers to teach this book in a classroom, both teachers and students should read this book of their own free will. However, it must be stressed to teachers that even recommending this book to their students could get them in trouble, so be careful about how you promote the book. It must also be stressed that the book and the movie are very different in many ways, so if you are planning on reading the book then seeing the movie keep in mind that you may be disappointed. In addition to the links at the bottom of the page, here a few that address teen issues and the teacher/student relationship:


About Steven Gould
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Steven Gould is a Science Fiction author with more than 15 published works with Jumper being his first published novel. He was born February 7, 1955. He wrote two more novels in the Jumper series; Reflex in 2004 and in 2007 he published a back story for a character that appears in the the film version of the book, Jumper: Griffin's Story.

He is married to Laura J. Mixon, also a science-fiction writer.

(Information found on Wikipedia).




Jumper Movie Trailer

The book Jumper by Steven Gould was adapted to film and released to theaters in February 2008. Produced by Twentieth Century Fox and Directed by Doug Liman, below is a trailer for the movie.


Additional Resources:
Jumper

--Nakia, Lindsey, and Andrew