Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

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Ellie remembers how the boys kissed her. Touched her. How they begged for more. And when she gave it to them, she felt loved. For a while anyway. So when Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life, leads her from a party to the backseat of his van, Ellie follows. But their “one-time thing” is far from perfect: Ellie gets pregnant. Josh reacts with shame and heartbreak, while their confidantes, Caleb and Corinne, deal with their own complex swirl of emotions. No matter what Ellie chooses, all four teenagers will be forced to grow up a little faster as a result. Told alternately from each character’s point of view, this deeply insightful novel explores the aftershocks of the biggest decision of one fragile girl’s life—and the realities of leaving innocence behind.

About Jo Knowles

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Jo Knowles is the author of the YA novels Lessons from a Dead Girl and Jumping Off Swings. The recipient of the 2005 PEN Literary Award, she lives in Vermont.
Published March 12, 2010 by Candlewick. 242 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jumping Off Swings

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A heartbreakingly honest, measured work of fiction about a teen’s unintended pregnancy is narrated in four voices in this latest from Knowles (Lessons from a Dead Girl, 2007).

Jul 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Jumping Off Swings


He’s angry with his best friend, Josh, for not taking responsibility--and later, angry with himself for not helping Josh understand his rights, particularly when Josh is suffering, too.

Oct 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Jumping Off Swings


Sixteen year old Ellie finds herself pregnant after a one night stand with a friend, Josh.

Oct 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Jumping Off Swings

Teen Reads

By Date » More to Read Behind You by by Jacqueline Woodson - Fiction Goldengrove by by Francine Prose - Fiction ...

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Jumping Off Swings

Common Sense Media

It will give readers a lot to think about, including what teens are looking for when they enter sexual relationships, and the different ways sexual rumors impact male and female reputations.

Aug 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Jumping Off Swings

A Patchwork of Books

Women who started fertility treatment at an older age had better mental health than women who started younger, and those who were married or cohabiting with their partner reported better mental health than women who were single, divorced, or widowed.

Jan 26 2017 | Read Full Review of Jumping Off Swings

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