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Available in paperback, ebook and audio



Jump Into The Sky
ISBN: 978-0-440-42140-5
352 pages
Published by Alfred A. Knopf

Setting: U.S. 1940s

Never thought I’d come south and feel afraid of my own skin…”


It is May 5, 1945. Thirteen-year old Levi Battle heads south in search of his father, a soldier in the U.S. Army training for the war overseas.  But the South is a dangerous place for a Black teenager from the North, and Levi nearly loses his life as he attempts to uncover the truth about his father’s whereabouts. 


Inspired by the true story of a secret Black paratrooper unit in World War II. A thought-provoking springboard for discussions of race and justice.

Curriculum Connections

World War II, Civil Rights, Black History

 Recommended for Grades 6 to 8

Photo of 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion

The Bulletin 

"Levi's voice--humorous and acutely insightful--perfectly captures the viewpoint of a resilient young of Christopher Paul Curtis will fall right into line."
Starred review

Publishers Weekly

"Pearsall constructs a tense and authentic portrait of World War II-era segregation and prejudice."


“A poignant, powerful tale of a father and son getting to know each other...Pearsall captures the soul and bravery of gentle Levi..."
Starred review
Golden Steel Plate



Booklist Editors’ Choice

Bulletin (BCCB) Blue Ribbon Book

Notable Social Studies Trade Book

Children’s Fiction Winner, Midland Authors Award

Top Ten “Black History Bests” Scholastic

Booklist’s Top 10 Historical Fiction

Truman Award Nominee (Missouri)

Aerial Photography

Quick Classroom Pick


Compare fiction and nonfiction in the classroom by pairing Jump into the Sky  with Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone.  Stone's nonfiction book features the same World War II paratrooper unit as the one in Jump into the Sky.  Great visual connections and historical details!


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