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|Jump into the sky|
Author: Pearsall, Shelley
In 1945, Levi finds the father he has not seen in three years in Pendleton, Oregon, where his father's all-Black 555th paratrooper battalion will never see combat but finally has a mission.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.80
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 153128
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 7.30
Points: 20.0 Quiz: 58963
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Kirkus Reviews (-) (07/01/12)
School Library Journal (00/09/12)
Booklist (+) (09/15/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (10/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2012 *Starred Review* Odella believes war is so close to ending that she sends her nephew Levi from Chicago to his father at Camp Mackall, in North Carolina. But she overlooks the treacherous journey the boy will face in the Jim Crow South of 1945, and the fact that her brother, on active duty, has no clue Levi is arriving. The train adventure is traumatic for the innocent Levi, and he almost loses his life to a gun-toting store owner in Fayetteville: “All I’d asked for was a soda pop. . . . But the look in that man’s eyes had been pure straight evil.” Then it gets worse: Dad’s unit, an elite African American paratrooper battalion, has just shipped out to Oregon. Levi meets and stays with a soldier from his dad’s unit until they join up with the battalion. Pearsall captures the soul and bravery of gentle Levi, who, along with the adults in his life, is never safe from the humiliations of bigotry. This poignant, powerful tale of father and son getting to know each other in small, delicate steps is suffused with Levi’s yearning for approval. Strong characterizations on all sides support the weighty story line. Best of all is the fascinating tale of the “Triple Nickel” 555th Paratrooper Infantry Battalion. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2012 After his semi-literate mother abandoned him as a baby on the seat of the car with a note saying, “I AM LEVIN,” “leaving” morphed into Levi Battle’s very name. It has also become the theme of his life: first his mother takes off, then his father leaves him in the keeping of an aunt while he joins the Army to fight in World War II, and now Aunt Odella has decided she’s shouldered enough parental responsibility and sends thirteen-year-old Levi off to rejoin his father at his posting. Second Lt. Charles Battle has kept in touch, boasting about an assignment that seems so resplendent and unlikely—he claims to have become a colored paratrooper, despite the army’s segregation—that friends and relatives are hesitant to believe his yarn. Yet, when Levi arrives after a hellish train ride from Chicago into the Jim Crow South, he finds that his father is indeed the paratrooper he claims to be but has just been reassigned and shipped out the day before to parts unknown. Calvin Thomas, a young black paratrooper, offers Levi a place to stay with him and his pregnant wife until they can track down Lt. Battle, and when Calvin gets his orders to rejoin his unit in Oregon, Levi accompanies the Thomases west, where he’s reunited with his father. There’s plenty of angry rumbling and discord among the paratroopers, though, who expected to be deployed into battle but instead find themselves fighting forest fires as they “guard” the west coast against rumored attack by Japanese bomb-carrying balloons, an idea that sounds so preposterous that the soldiers believe they’ve been sidetracked for the duration. Pearsall offers an exquisitely balanced tale of family ties and World War II valor, based on the experiences of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Levi’s voice—humorous and acutely insightful—perfectly captures the viewpoint of a resilient young man whose feet sting from his first harsh landing in the adult world. Fans of Christopher Paul Curtis will fall right into line. EB - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.