As part of my participation in the 2013 WordCount Blogathon, I’m “swapping” posts today with the doyenne of another website for book lovers. Katy Manck of BooksYALove is a retired academic / corporate / school librarian who finds joy in recommending young adult books beyond the bestsellers on her BooksYALove blog. She is treasurer of the International Association of School Librarianship and publicity chair for IASL’s free online international GiggleIT Project for student writers.
Below is Katy’s guest post about Jump Into the Sky by Shelley Pearsall.
Being left behind ain’t easy, leaving everything familiar behind ain’t easy… for this young black teen during World War II, there’s not a lot of easy at all.
We first meet Levi Battle in his Chicago neighborhood, where he lives in a tiny apartment with his aunt while his father is away at war, teaching black paratroopers how to Jump Into the Sky.
Levi’s jazz-singer mother left them when he was just a toddler; his father left for the Army a couple of years ago, but no one in the neighborhood really believes that he’s an officer in the Army-Air Corps.
Suddenly his aunt decides it’s time for the thirteen-year-old to go live with his father and sends him off with a sack of fried chicken and a one-way ticket to (Lord, help us) Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Yes, Levi is leaving the less-restrictive industrial north of 1945 – where Negros can own businesses and have jobs with almost-decent pay – for the Jim Crow South that his family fled 2 generations ago – where a colored man’s dime won’t buy a tin dipper of water if the white storekeeper says no.
This great young adult novel explores finding your place in the world, trying to make a difference in the face of prejudice and suspicion, working to become a family again after too much leaving and separation.
Read my full recommendation of Shelley Pearsall’s Jump Into the Sky here and journey with Levi to find the “Triple Nickles” of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion as they fight for the right to defend their country.
Be sure to visit the Triple Nickles’ website for more about this historic paratrooper battalion, and look for Tanya Stone’s new nonfiction book about the 555th Courage Has No Color when you visit your local library or independent bookstore to get Jump Into the Sky in hardcover, paperback or audiobook.
Have things gotten any easier for young people today, with all the leaving and being left?
Katy Manck, MLS
Recommending young adult books beyond bestsellers http://BooksYALove.com
Follow Katy on Twitter: @BooksYALove