2009 National Book Award Finalist,
Young People's Literature

Rita Williams-Garcia


HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Video from the 2009 National Book Awards Finalist Reading

Photo credit: Jason Berger


Dominique is angry. Trina is self-absorbed. Leticia is the spectator, the only one who can stop the spiral that Rita Williams-Garcia sets spinning in this harrowing tale of girl violence. Like three strands of a rope, their lives and stories twist around each other into an inescapably tight knot. In this powerful novel, the huge questions of kindness, mercy, and fate are so keenly drawn that by the inevitable conclusion, even the reader feels jumped.


Acclaimed author Rita Williams-Garcia intertwines the lives of three very different teens in this fast-paced, gritty narrative about choices and the impact that even the most seemingly insignificant ones can have. Weaving in and out of the girls’ perspectives, readers will find themselves engrossed in not one intimate portrayal but three.


Winner of the PEN/Norma Klein Award, Rita Williams-Garcia is the author of six novels for young adults, including No Laughter Here, Every Time a Rainbow Dies, and Like Sisters on the Homefront, which was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

Williams-Garcia is currently a faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children & Young Adults Program and lives in Jamaica, New York.


Rita Williams-Garcia's Official Website

Rita Williams-Garcia's Blog

Rita Williams-Garcia page on Rutgers University Website

VIDEO - Interview with author of "JUMPED", Rita Williams-Garcia


From the book JUMPED by Rita Williams-Garcia. Copyright © 2009 by Rita Williams-Garcia. Published by arrangement with HarperCollins Publishers.


Imaginary Line or Not

You know, life is unfair. Bea’s class has Push and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for winter break reading. They’re reading true-to-life dramas. Stuff that make your eyes run right-left-right like feet on fire. Our class has Black Boy, The Stranger, and Mr. Walsh’s favorite, A Separate Peace. “A book every high school student must read,” according to Walsh. I see his point. One day I might transfer to an elite military school, befriend a bunch of losers, climb a tree, and watch a classmate fall and break his leg. That’s right. Pushed or fell, the classmate breaks a leg and dies. He doesn’t die on the spot. Dying drags out over time so the so-called friend can Hamletize over to tell or not to tell that he’s responsible for the broken leg and his death. So, yeah. I see how it all relates to my life because every other day I’m up a tree pushing some loser to his eventual death, then breaking out into a soliloquy. Don’t you just love the classics?

I read the book. Every page, even when I wanted to skim. I already have zero period math. I don’t need to rise at an ungodly hour for zero period English next semester.

I look around. Unlike every one else’s book, mine is brand new, no cracks, no creases down the spine. Each page corner as sharp as I when I bought it. Not a highlighter or pen mark to be found between the covers. You can’t get your money back from the store if it looks used. It’s not easy to read a book you don’t crack open all the way but I’ve mastered the art of keeping the book brand new. Black Boy, The Stranger and A Separate Peace are all crisp and clean. Ready to be returned along with the receipt.