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Jump Into the Sky

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  644 ratings  ·  157 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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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  644 ratings  ·  157 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
Jan 04, 2012 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 fi
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
Christina Getrost
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
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
Sep 15, 2012 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
Mar 30, 2013 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!
Apr 06, 2013 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.
Jan 02, 2015 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.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abby Johnson
Apr 08, 2013 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
Jan 18, 2014 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
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gayle Dill
Feb 24, 2013 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
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
Apr 21, 2015 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 ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It was the story about the 555th in WWII. It was about black/white relations in different parts of the country. As a teacher, it would be a book that I would read/discuss with middle school students. I was very impressed with Pearsall's historical narrative. ...more
Kenneth Jackson
Apr 21, 2015 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... ...more
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
An excellent story, made even better by the perfect narrator.
Philip Guzman
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read books with my special needs son as part of our time together. We recently completed reading "Jump Into the Sky" and loved it. It is a very special book which tracks the life journey of one young thirteen year old African American boy during the last year of World War II. From his home in Chicago, he travels about the country to reunite with this army father - first to the Jim Crow South where he experiences for the first time the hatred and bigotry that is, sadly, still found in the heart ...more
Erika Reynolds
Aug 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
The history behind this story (as mentioned in the author’s note at the end) is fascinating, and the plot has the potential to be intriguing, but there’s just no action. I can get past the lack of war action, because that isn’t really what the story is about anyway, but the author missed a lot of opportunities to show the reader how tough and heartbreaking life was for people of color in the Jim Crow south. Levi is a sweet enough character, but he doesn’t speak like any 13 year old I’ve ever hea ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
The book "Jump Into the Sky" by Shelley Pearsall is a historic fiction story taking place in the time of World War II. The main character is Levi, an African American boy living with his aunt in Chicago. Some other main characters include Levi's father, Charles, his aunt, Aunt Odella, and his father's friend from the war and his wife. The story revolves around young Levi's life growing up without seeing his father much. One day, his aunt sends him away to where his father was stationed. When Lev ...more
Ms. Heres
Levi is accustomed to being his mom when he was a baby and by his dad and he took on odd jobs and left him with his aunt. However, he isn't prepared to be told by his aunt that he will be boarding a train and going to stay with his dad in North Carolina where he is stationed in the army. He hasn't seen his dad in three years...and his dad hasn't been told he's coming. Levi leaves Chicago, the only thing that has been consistent in his life, and heads south where things are very differe ...more
Johnny Bell
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! It was interesting to learn about another all-black military unit, the 555 ("Triple Nickels"). The history and experiences of a young boy growing up quickly were breath-taking. I can't wait to share this novel with my students as a book study.

"Watching those little bitty pieces fly away got me thinking about how nice it would be if your color was something you could take off whenever you felt like it. What if you could crack open your skin like a peanut shell and toss it away wh
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 is tired of having him, she sends him off to where his father is stationed. She abruptly puts him on a train and sends him there. Levi is used to losing important people in his life. His jazz singer mother abandoned him at a few months old. Then his beloved grandmother died. Now his Aunt doesn't want him.

Levi is anxious about the changes ahead. Levi hasn't seen his f
Lavin Bendt
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was very interesting. It was a good book to inform the readers on what was going on during this time frame. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about historical fiction.
Hugh Woodson
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Marvelous story! Giving the story from point of view of Levi Battle as he journeyed to find his father from Chicago to North Carolina to Oregon then back to N.C.

Story have bit of interesting history sort of African Americans history.

Great book with vividly detail, you know what I mean?
Elease C
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
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