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Literature / Sky Jumpers

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Sky Jumpers is a Post-apocalyptic Children's Book by Peggy Eddleman.

Hope Toriella is a 12-year-old girl living in the town of White Rock, Nebraska, situated in a crater in a USA that's been ravaged by World War III. She's impulsive, a risk-taker, and unfortunately for her, not the best type of inventor in a town where people are encouraged to do just that.

One day in winter however, her town is invaded by bandits who've come to take their antibiotics. This is a problem because, without said antibiotics, much of the town likely won't survive the months to come. However, if they don't hand it over, the bandits will kill everyone there. So, with no other options, and with the town's guard off in the neighbouring town of Browning, the town has to comply and hand over their next batch when it's ready.


Hope, however, is not going to just sit idly by and let these bandits doom her people like this. Ultimately, she decides that maybe, just maybe, her impulsiveness is just what she needs to save the day.

So, with the help of her friends, Brock, Aaren, and Aaren's little sister Brenna, Hope decides to go over the Bomb's Breath around the town to Browning to get the guards back.

The book was published in 2013. The book also has a sequel, Forbidden Flats.


Sky Jumpers contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Comes up quite a number of times in the book.
    • For Dr. Grenwood, her son, Aaren, slips on a roof and falls to the ground. And on the way, he slices his belly on a sharp piece of metal that was sticking up. She then struggles to get him to remember what to do while she treats him.
    • The town of White Rock is hit with one when it's invaded by bandits. If they don't hand over all their antibiotics, the bandits will gun down everyone in town. But if they do, they won't have the medicine necessary to treat the case of Shadel's Sickness that's now spreading through the town.
    • Aaren, Hope, and Brock are forced to allow Brenna to come along when she follows them. When they start to trek through the mountains, she starts developing hypothermia.
  • After the End: Much of the world was destroyed forty years ago by "Green Bombs".
  • Alpha Bitch: Amy Breckenridge, an older girl with several gossipy friends, who loves to rub in Hope's poor inventing skills and tells Hope that her father is embarrassed by her (which he isn't).
  • Big Brother Instinct: Aaren is very protective of Brenna.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Hope uses one in the orchard to shoot rotten apples at the horses some bandits are riding on, spooking them so they rear up and drop their rider.
  • Bring Help Back: Hope and her friends flee White Rocks to find the twenty able-bodied men who left town on a foraging expedition and bring them back to fight the bandits. They succeed. 
  • Fantastic Nuke: The Green Bombs. Their effects include...
    • Creating new plants.
    • Altering the properties of certain metals.
    • Creating a deadly gas called "Bomb's Breath", which can cause near-instantaneous death.
    • Changing weather patterns.
    • Destroying the ability to create a stable magnet.
  • For Want of a Nail: Hope loses her "perfect potato" for her newest invention, a hand-crank potato peeler, on the tram ride to school, and has to find a substitute. She ultimately settles on a less-than-stellar one. When she's demonstrating her peeler with the new potato, though, the whole thing comes apart and she gets a jagged piece of wood in her hand.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Mickelson has a scar on his face that runs from his right temple down to his jaw.
  • Great Offscreen War: The one against General Shadel forty years ago. While his campaign of world conquest was stopped, it left the Earth in shambles, and polluted by deadly "Bomb's Breath".
  • Happily Adopted: Hope lives a very happy life with her adopted family, the Toriellas.
  • I Choose to Stay: One year, when White Rock's guards came to the town of Browning, Brock's father, a member of the guard at the time, met Brock's mother, and decided to stay there and be with her.
  • The Littlest Cancer Patient: Brock's adorable little sister has a spinal tumor that is slowly paralyzing her.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Aaren has a LOT of siblings, both older and younger. And in his family, each elder sibling is responsible for looking after a younger.
  • Playing Possum: Hope, Brock, Aaren, and Brenna do this in the bomb's breath to get the bandits on their tails to stop chasing them.
  • Sole Surviving Scientist: Long before Hope was born, Frank Hudson was a combination of this and a Child Prodigy in the years after World War III. He was only twelve years old, but used his library of science books to help his group of 26 survivors survive, with things like ammonia refrigeration systems and a telegraph system powered by electrolyte batteries.
  • Wasteland Elder: Mr. Hudson was only twelve during the war that wiped out of humanity several decades before the book, and serves as the Sole Surviving Scientist of the town, with his Steampunk inventions helping make life easier. He's neither the leader of the town nor the oldest remaining survivor, but he's probably the smartest of them, and when he presents ideas to the town council, they take him very seriously.
  • Wham Line: When Aaren, Hope, Brenna, and Brock reach Browning, Brock takes them to a house there. When the door is answered, and the occupant sees them, the following line is uttered.
    "Mom, Estie, Stephen, Max! It's Brock! Brock is home!"


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