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Jumping the Scratch
Cover of Jumping the Scratch
Jumping the Scratch
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Jamie Reardon has always heard that bad things come in threes. So after his cat, Mister, dies, his father leaves, and his aunt Sapphy has an accident that causes her memory to develop a skip, Jamie hopes his life will go back to being as normal as cornflakes. But unfortunately there's one more bad thing in store for Jamie — something he'd give anything to be able to forget — and this one leaves him feeling like a stranger to himself. Jamie tries in vain to find the magic trigger that will help Sapphy's memory jump the scratch, like the needle on her favorite Frank Sinatra record, but in the end it's Aunt Sapphy who, along with a curious girl named Audrey Krouch, helps Jamie unravel the mysteries of memory and jump the scratch in his own life.

Sarah Weeks's poignant characters and powerful prose come together in a story that is both heart wrenching and inspiring — another gem from the award-winning author of So B. It.

Jamie Reardon has always heard that bad things come in threes. So after his cat, Mister, dies, his father leaves, and his aunt Sapphy has an accident that causes her memory to develop a skip, Jamie hopes his life will go back to being as normal as cornflakes. But unfortunately there's one more bad thing in store for Jamie — something he'd give anything to be able to forget — and this one leaves him feeling like a stranger to himself. Jamie tries in vain to find the magic trigger that will help Sapphy's memory jump the scratch, like the needle on her favorite Frank Sinatra record, but in the end it's Aunt Sapphy who, along with a curious girl named Audrey Krouch, helps Jamie unravel the mysteries of memory and jump the scratch in his own life.

Sarah Weeks's poignant characters and powerful prose come together in a story that is both heart wrenching and inspiring — another gem from the award-winning author of So B. It.

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  • OverDrive Listen
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Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.2
  • Lexile:
    860
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • Sarah Weeks has written more than fifty books for young readers. Some of her picture books include Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash, Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth!, and Glamourpuss. Her bestselling novel, So B. It, is a feature-length film starring Alfre Woodard and Talitha Bateman. Ms. Weeks visits thousands of students in elementary and middle schools across the country every year. She is also an adjunct professor in the prestigious MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the New School. Sarah lives in Nyack, New York, with her husband, Jim Fyfe, and their dog, Mia. You can visit her online at www.sarahweeks.com.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Tony Award-winning Stephen Spinella reveals his storytelling talent as he gives voice to young Jamie Reardon, whom he portrays as an introspective loner. Spinella uses a contemplative tone to reveal Jamie's desire to help his Aunt Sapphy, a woman who suffered brain damage in an accident at the cherry factory where she worked. Spinella instills Jamie's friend, Audrey Krouch, with a precocious voice as she attempts to hypnotize Jamie and uncover his deepest secrets. As Spinella vocalizes Aunt Sapphy's warm, confused tone, his ability to draw in the reader shines, especially when Jamie becomes more confident in his belief that he might be able to heal his caring aunt. S.M. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 21, 2006
    It has been a rough year for 11-year-old Jamie Reardon. In short order, his cat, Mister, died, his father ran off with another woman, and the boy and his mother moved to a trailer park to live with his aunt Sapphy who, because of an accident at the cherry factory where she used to work, has lost her short-term memory and needs them to take care of her. Jamie is also suffering from being the new kid in school and bearing the brunt of a bully's attention. But worst of all is the dark secret that sits deep in Jamie's heart, a secret that he can't share with anyone, and that he would give anything to forget. Spinella brings a lovely sensitive quality to his narration of Weeks's novel, which is reminiscent of the old 1980s television series The Wonder Years
    , as an older, wiser Jamie looks back at an important, troubling and powerful earlier time in his life. Spinella's insightful performance brings notes of pre-teen innocence and angst to his characterization of Jamie, and is sure to connect with young listeners. Ages 10-up.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2006
    Gr 5-8 -In Sarah Weekss novel (Laura Geringer Book, 2006), 11-year-old Jamie Reardon cant believe how his life has unraveled over a short period of time. Just a short time ago, he lived in Michigan with both of his parents and his cat, Mister, and life was as normal as cornflakes. In less than a year, Mister was killed in an accident, his father left home with another woman, and he and his mom moved to Wondrous Acres, a trailer park, to help his Aunt Sapphy who lost her short term memory in an accident. And things get even worse when hes not accepted in his new school and is bullied. In addition, Jamie must avoid Old Gray, the manager of the trailer park, because of an unspeakable (sensitively revealed) incident that took place on Christmas Eve. Jamie spends his days trying to avoid Old Gray and helping Aunt Sapphy to find a trigger that will spark her memory, or jump the scratch. In a satisfying ending, Jamie finds his trigger in the friendships he forms with an author who visits his classroom, an eccentric classmate, and a resident of the trailer park. Actor Stephen Spinella does a fine job narrating the story from the point of view of a young man remembering an important event in his life. His reading is done with great empathy, and he defines the supporting cast of characters with appropriate voice inflections. A must for fans of Jack Gantos and Kate DiCamillo.Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY

    Copyright 2006 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    February 1, 2006
    Gr. 4-6. Life has turned sour for Jamie Reardon. His father has taken off, and now Jamie lives with his mother in his aunt Sapphy's trailer. Sapphy, who was hit in the head at her factory job, has lost her short-term memory, so every day, Jamie or his mother must explain again why they are with her. If Jamie's trials at home aren't enough, he is teased at school, and his diffidence is the bane of his teacher's existence. The best part of the story is Jamie's relationship with Sapphy, one vaguely suggestive of the daughter and mother in Weeks' " So. Be. It. "(2004). Jamie transcends the repetitiveness of their relationship by coming up with sensory clues to jump-start Sapphy's memory, at first with no success. Then a neighbor girl hypnotizes Jamie, evoking the memory of his recent abuse by a caretaker at the trailer park. Jamie's emotional reaction to the incident he was trying to suppress shakes Sapphy and returns her memory. The abuse story, mostly a device, is not well integrated into the narrative, with almost everything happening offstage. But the characters are well drawn; readers will care about them and applaud their well-deserved triumphs.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2006, American Library Association.)

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    HarperCollins
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    Peer-to-peer usage: 
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Jumping the Scratch
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Sarah Weeks
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