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Jump Into the Sky

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  449 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
Levi Battle's been left behind all his life. His mother could sing like a bird and she flew away like one, too. His father left him with his grandmother so he could work as a traveling salesman—until Levi's grandmother left this world entirely. Now Levi's staying with his Aunt Odella while his father is serving in the U.S. Army. But it's 1945, and the war is nearly over, a ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
82nd out of 113 books — 1,215 voters
Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. DraperGlory Be by Augusta ScattergoodThe Perfect Place by Teresa E. HarrisJump Into the Sky by Shelley PearsallThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Children's Novels about Segregation & Integration
4th out of 40 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

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Ms. Yingling
Jan 04, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
Expected publication: August 14th 2012 by Alfred a Knopf
Levi has been living with an aunt in Chicago since his mother left him and his father is in the army during in WWII. When his aunt tires of having him, she sends him off to where his father is stationed in the south. This is quite a culture shock for the smart, well-behaved boy who is subject to the Jim Crow behavior in this part of the US for the first time. To make matters worse, his father's unit has just been shipped to Oregon. Luckily,
Kristina Cardoza
Jump into the Sky by Shelley Pearsall was a great historical fiction book! It's 1945 in Chicago, and 13-year-old Levin Battle is being left--again! First his mother ran away, then his brave father was enlisted, so the government took him to serve in the U.S. army, then his new guardian, his grandmother, left (entirely), and he was stuck with his strict Aunt Odella, and now she wants him to leave and go to the place that his father was stationed--down South! When Levi gets there, he find
Margo Tanenbaum
In her new historical novel Jump into the Sky, award-winning historical fiction author Shelley Pearsall explores a little known footnote in World War II history--the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, the first black paratrooper unit in the U.S. Army.

The story of the 555th unfolds through the eyes of thirteen-year old Levi, who's been living with his aunt in Chicago while his father serves in a secret Army mission. It's May, 1945, and the war is drawing to close. Levi's aunt decides to send him
It's 1945 and WWII seems to be winding down. The aunt with whom he has been living in Chicago decides that it's time for the father of thirteen-year-old Levi Battle to do his part. It might seem cruel for her to send Levi out on his own in that way, but the author makes it clear that Aunt Odella has spent so much of her life taking care of others that she has little time for herself. Levi takes a train from Chicago to Washington, D.C., and then on North Carolina where his father is stationed. He ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it
Another winner from author Shelley Pearsall. It's 1945, and 13 year old Levi, after living three years in Chicago with his aunt, is suddenly sent away by her to live with his father on an Army base in South Carolina. Levi hasn't seen his father in three years, only has the occasional cryptic letter sent from a myriad of Army bases. But Levi is hopeful, despite being very nervous to travel alone for the first time on a train through the segregated South, that his dad will be glad to see him and t ...more
Sep 15, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it
It's been years since I've read a Shelley Pearsall novel, but I remember really loving those that I've read in the past. I really liked Jump Into the Sky. I'm not sure that I absolutely loved it. But it was a really good read. I just LOVED the main character, Levi Battle. I really loved his narrative voice, and I enjoyed seeing the world through his eyes. I enjoyed many of the characters, I especially liked Cal, Peaches, and baby Victory. (I loved hearing their love story!) I was so happy that t ...more
Apr 21, 2015 William rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
Katherine read this to me on the road. It is a very well written story of a young African American boy trying to link up with his father serving with the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (Triple Nickle) during WWII. The injustice of racism is clearly demonstrated, while the sacrifice made by those who served is highlighted. A GREAT read, very easy flowing book but one that will make you think and be very grateful for those who served ahead of us. The Paratrooper humor is well done!
Jan 02, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
Historical fiction about a boy being sent to live with his father who is a member of the first African American paratroopers, the 555th Triple Nickles. Very true to the time period and the events of the 555th.
Apr 21, 2015 Sha'Niece rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing
This is a great historical novel. I really love the endnote in which the author tells how the book was researched with interviews and which details were taken from real life. The book is based on a little known fact about WWII. A positive male African American character.
Summary (
Levi Battle has been left behind all his life. His mother could sing like a bird and she flew away like one, too. His father left him with his grandmother so he could work as a traveling salesman—until Levi's grandmother left this world entirely. Now Levi's staying with his Aunt Odella while his father is serving in the U.S. Army. But it's 1945, the war is nearly over, and Aunt Odella decides it's time for Levi to do some leaving of his own. Before he can blink, Levi finds hi
Apr 21, 2015 Darrien rated it really liked it
I loves when Jester/Levi found his dad for the first time in a long time.I think it was an OK book.I don't like this book because,it was so sad.People where dying and one of the solders named Micky. This story is mainly about a boy named Levi got left by his mother Queen Bee Walker.His aunt bring him in and she raised him.He rod to Pendiltan from Chicago. He found his dad and it was a good moment. His Dad fount out about the japes made balloon bombs. And you haft to read the rest for the book
Abby Johnson
Apr 08, 2013 Abby Johnson rated it it was ok
I like a little-known historical fiction story as much as the next person, but it was like I kept waiting for the story to get exciting and it kept ALMOST getting exciting, but then meandering away to something else. Levi's voice wasn't strong enough for me to enjoy the book on his character alone and the plot meandered too much to be compelling. Part of my disappointment might be with the cover and title, both of which seem to promise a lot of wartime action, which is not necessarily the fault ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Text to Self- It was amazing to me read about the triple nickels and their impact on our country. I had never heard about the troop and actually looked up information to make sure it was real. It was sad to hear the treatment of the troops were not equal as troops that were white.
1. Why did Levi have to leave Chicago?
2. Explain why Levi had to sit in a separate section of the train once he entered the South?
3. What questions would you ask the general store owner who attacked Levi?
4. Why do you
Gayle Dill
Feb 24, 2013 Gayle Dill rated it liked it
Middle School - Historical Fiction
Levi Battle has lived with his aunt in Chicago for 3 yrs. when she decides to send him off unannounced to his father's base, Ft. Mackall, in NC. Levi experiences the Jim Crow south as he travels by train only to find his father's battalion has just shipped out to Pendleton, OR. Cal and Peaches take Levi under their wing, taking him along to OR when Cal gets orders to join his battalion. Levi become reacquainted with his father in OR and when the war ends, decide
Kenneth Jackson
Apr 21, 2015 Kenneth Jackson rated it it was amazing
I think that jump into the sky is a good book I recommend this book to audiences. Even if you don't like historical fiction . in the beginning Levi/Chester is living with His aunt O Della His life was good until one day...
Sandy Brehl
Heard of the Tuskegee Airmen? Most have, but few stories have been told of the segregated paratroop group, the "triple nickels", or 555th group who never made it off the continent into the war, despite training and excellence. The central character, Levi, is a thirteen year old Chicago kid who has been left behind all his life. He is launched into many rude awakenings as WWII nears its end and he finds himself leaving the familiar turf of his neighborhood, learning to deal with Jim Crow racism, ...more
Jul 13, 2015 Msjodi777 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, 2015, od
An excellent story, made even better by the perfect narrator.
Apr 22, 2015 Heavenly rated it it was amazing
The story "Jump into the Sky" is thrilling. In the story,Young Levi ,is thirteen, hasn't seen his dad in three years.His dad is gone away with the army to fight in World War II, he is a paratrooper. Levi's mom was a gracious singer and person, up until she left Levi and his dad, before Levi could turn one.In the mean time, Levi lives with his Aunt Odella. He wakes up one morining to find out his Aunt Odella is sending him to his dad on the army base. He had two hours to pack then he was off.Ther ...more
Lyn-Daisha Combs
Apr 21, 2015 Lyn-Daisha Combs rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 21, 2015 Monica rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Reynolds
Jul 22, 2014 Julia Reynolds rated it it was ok
Another historical fiction – and also set during WWII. However, instead of following a young white girl at the Manhattan Project, this book follows a young black man following his father all over the country, experiencing Jim Crow and racism and military family life while trying to reunite with his father, one of the black paratroopers in the 555th. Levi seems like a truthful narrator, and the plot moves along, but honestly the descriptions of Jim Crow and racism were really light and friendly – ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Autumn rated it liked it
Levi Battle was living with his Aunt Odella in Chicago, until one day she decided she was tired of him and kicked him out, to go see his daddy in the army. So a 13 year old boy out on his own traveling by train to find his father who's in the war, also Levi has no idea where his father even is. Its also the time of World War II. Before he went on his way Aunt Odella and Uncle Otis had a big argument about if he should even go or not, and how he doesn't know the rules of the south. Well he got on ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Liyah rated it liked it
The book Jump into the Sky, is all about a boy that has very little family. His name was Levi Battle. Levi lived with his aunt for the past 3 years, while his dad was going off into the war, and he never even knew his mother. Soon enough his aunt kicked him out, so he had to go search for his dad anyway. His aunt was always telling him that his father was just one big liar. She never believed that someone would jump out of a plane. So she made Levi go from Chicago, Illinois to Fayeteville, South ...more
Apr 22, 2015 D'Wan rated it it was amazing
In Chicago, there was a th13 year old boy naked levi but really Chester Battles. he stayed with his aunt and uncle. His mother Queen Bee Walker left him when he was a baby. She wrote a note and at the end it siad, "I'm leavin" and thats where they got levi from. His Aunt Odella gave him some change and sent him to Fayettville, SC to his dad. His dad is a paratrooper in the U.S. Army of African American. His ride was terrible, he had to ride in the coal car. When he arrived to fayetteville it was ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 22, 2015 Enon rated it really liked it
I just got done reading a book called Jump Into The Sky. This book is about a teenage boy named Levi who's mom left him and he has to live with his aunt named Odella because his dad (Charles Battle) works in the military. While he is staying with his aunt he soon learns shes kicking him out to go live with his father. This shocks him because he hasn't seen him in years and he cant believe shes kicking him out.And all this is happening during the time of World War II. My opinion on this book is t ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Aukeviaah rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 21, 2015 Dana added it
I think the book jump into sky by Shelly Pearsall is a cool book that teaches you about war.The book is showing confidence in america.I really took this book serious it showed that even though things happen it's going to be the same.When your reading the novel you really have to hear the pain and the struggle that they went to.So there was a boy that went to Chicago to see his dad in the military.There was some rookies their and they weren't getting no real calls.Then there was a fire and they h ...more
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I grew up in a blue-collar suburb of Cleveland called Parma where I used to write stories in a bedroom closet (aka my writer’s office). I tried to get my first novel – a 40 page handwritten story called “I am the Only One Left” - published when I was thirteen. As you can probably guess, it was rejected!

It took about twenty years before I finally had my first published book, Trouble Don’t Last (Kno
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