Jump off a swing today!

Happy Book Birthday,  !

And in addition to those good wishes for Jo Knowles, author of JUMPING OFF SWINGS, I have some advice for the rest of you.  You need to read this book.

I had already heard praise from some early readers of JUMPING OFF SWINGS when I picked up an advance copy at ALA last month, and I adore Jo, so I was ready to like this one. Even so, I was blown away by the characters and the spare, poignant prose.

JUMPING OFF SWINGS is a book about love and sex and friendship, about loss of innocence and how we all survive it.  It’s one of the most beautiful, most honest YA novels I’ve ever read and reminded me of Judy Blume’s FOREVER in the way it approached the realities of teenagers’ decisions about sex without ever being heavy-handed. 

Read it. Your heart will ache for friends Ellie, Josh, Caleb, and Corinne as they deal with Ellie’s pregnancy after what was supposed to be a "one-time thing" at a party. The characters are so beautifully whole and real that I found myself thinking about them – worrying about them and wishing futures for them – long after I’d turned the final page.

The chapters – alternating between the four main characters’ points of view – are short, making this a perfect choice for reluctant teen readers, but really, it should be a must-read for every teen, boys and girls alike.

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