cover image Jumper


Melanie Crowder. Viking, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-59-332696-1

When white 19-year-old Blair Scott is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, her doctor warns against “overexerting [her]self with strenuous physical activity.” But more than anything, Blair wants to be a smokejumper, a wildland firefighter who parachutes into fire zones. “If I had to pick between dying in my sleep or out on the fire line, I knew my choice,” she says of her prognosis. After enrolling in Montana’s U.S. Forest Service’s newest class of smokejumpers, she hides her condition and swears her fellow trainee and best friend, white 19-year-old Jason, to secrecy. Determined to prove herself among her mostly male colleagues, Blair is quick to take risks, and struggles to balance the hazardous training with maintaining her health. When her secret endangers lives amid a fast-burning blaze, she must call upon her intense training to survive. Blair is a fierce and dynamic narrator, and Crowder’s (Mazie) immersive prose, crisp dialogue, and haunting descriptions of devastating fires enlivens this pulse-pounding thriller. The author’s experience working with Oregon’s U.S. Forest Service adds authenticity to the worldbuilding, while informative interstitials educate on firefighting terms, tools, and procedures, as well as how fires start. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (June)