cover image Jumped


Rita Williams-Garcia, . . HarperTeen/Amistad, $16.99 (169pp) ISBN 978-0-06-076091-5

Alternating among the perspectives of three girls at an urban high school, Williams-Garcia (Like Sisters on the Homefront ) shows once again her uncanny ability to project unique voices. Benched by the basketball coach for her low grades, Dominique is trying to bite back her rage when “some stupid little flit comes skipping down B corridor like the Easter Bunny.... Skipping. In all that pink” and walks between Dominique and her “girls,” “like she don't see I'm here and all the space around me is mines.” That's it—Dominique vows to “kick her ass” at exactly 2:45. Her intended victim, Trina—already full of herself over her looks, and pumped up because she's about to hang her latest masterpiece of art in a hallway)—does not hear, but Leticia does, and she can't wait to tell her best friend (“That would be something to see.... Trina getting stomped on school grounds”). And when Leticia's friend argues that Leticia ought to warn Trina, the plot quickens rather than taking a simple path around should-she/shouldn't-she. So well observed that the characters seem to leap off the page, the novel leaves a strong and lingering impact. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)