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JUMPER by Melanie Crowder Kirkus Star


by Melanie Crowder

Pub Date: June 21st, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-32696-1
Publisher: Viking

Blair Scott has the grit and athleticism to become an elite firefighter—and a secret that could end her career before it begins.

Blair, 19, spends summers in Montana with Aunt Cate. From volunteering at a fire camp, Blair understands the need to protect forest ecosystems and human communities in a warming climate. Competitive and driven, she’s developed the strength and stamina needed for a job some male firefighters doubt she can handle. (Their skepticism has merely strengthened her resolve.) Now Blair and Jason, her longtime BFF, are rookie firefighters. Their friendship’s platonic; both are attracted to girls—typically the same ones. Jason has reluctantly agreed to keep secret Blair’s Type 1 diabetes, a diagnosis that would have disqualified her from the program, and biomedical engineer Aunt Cate has adapted her medical devices. When the busy fire season turns deadly and a fire crew is lost, the rookies are allowed to train as smokejumpers. Blair manages her hidden condition responsibly—until a training mishap brings major challenges. Rejecting Aunt Cate’s and Jason’s pleas that she disclose her diabetes, Blair makes a serious miscalculation. Blair’s passion for firefighting and her willingness to endure its grueling, vividly described hazards while struggling to manage her condition enrich the narrative. She’s a mesmerizing tour guide to the extraordinary challenges of battling hellish heat and blinding smoke in forested wilderness. Firefighting principles are tucked between chapters. Main characters are cued as White.

Never less than riveting.

(glossary, author's note, sources) (Fiction. 12-18)