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About The Book

From the acclaimed author of SLAY and The Cost of Knowing comes an action-driven, high-octane “thrill ride” (Kirkus Reviews) about a group of working-class teens in Seattle who join a dangerous scavenger hunt with a prize that can save their families and community.

Influence is power. Power creates change. And change is exactly what Team Jericho needs.

Jax, Yas, Spider, and Han are the four cornerstones of Team Jericho, the best scavenger hunting team in all of Seattle. Each has their own specialty: Jax, the puzzler; Yas, the parkourist; Spider, the hacker; and Han, the cartographer. But now with an oil refinery being built right in their backyard, each also has their own problems. Their families are at risk of losing their jobs, their communities, and their homes.

So when The Order, a mysterious vigilante organization, hijacks the scavenger hunting forum and concocts a puzzle of its own, promising a reward of influence, Team Jericho sees it as the chance of a lifetime. If they win this game, they could change their families’ fates and save the city they love so much. But with an opposing team hot on their heels, it’s going to take more than street smarts to outwit their rivals.

Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide

The Jump

By Brittney Morris

About the Book

Jax, Yas, Spider, and Han make up Team Jericho, the best cryptology scavenger hunt team in Seattle, and they’re ready for their next challenge! The teens come from working class families who look out for their communities. When a big corporation plans to build an oil refinery that will destroy people’s livelihoods, homes, and environment, Team Jericho knows they need to stop the corporation. Their shared desperation leads them to join a dangerous scavenger hunt led by an obscure vigilante organization who promises the winner power. Can “The Order” be trusted or is Team Jericho risking more than they can handle?

Discussion Questions

1. The Jump is a fast-paced story full of shocking revelations and high-stakes action. As a class, determine the major components of the story: exposition, conflict, climax, falling action, and resolution.

2. Jax concedes he’s not saying “Mama’s garden is anywhere near the same scale of importance in the world, but . . . it is in my world” when compared to issues like the Capitol invasion and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan (p. 4). With a partner, discuss what is important in your world. How do you prioritize or rank the various issues that matter to you at the personal, local, national, or international level?

3. Mama tells Jax, “‘Negotiation isn’t everything, Juju. . . . Life isn’t give and take. It’s give and give.’” (p. 12) What do you think this means? Where else does this sentiment arise in the text? Explain your answers.

4. How do multiple points of view enhance the story? How would it be different from a single point of view? Whose perspective do you wish you had gotten and why?

5. Throughout the story, Yas shows off as an incredible athlete with her speed, agility, and parkour moves. Research hijab-wearing Muslim female athletes. What challenges have they faced? What is the importance of representing that wearing a hijab and being an athlete are two intertwined facets of Yas’s identity?

6. None of Team Jericho’s players are allowed to protest, despite their passion for justice and defending their community. What role can a young person take in revolution that doesn’t involve protest? Have you ever protested? Share your experience.

7. Brittney Morris creates a diverse cast for The Jump, including unique family structures, characters with multiple intersecting identities, and vibrant, distinct personalities. Why is this diverse cast essential for this story and its setting? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

8. Spider deals with racism, classism, and transphobia, and even though he doesn’t enjoy working, he appreciates that when he’s “washing dishes, or sweeping, or tidying the stockroom—anywhere in the kitchen away from customers—I’m home.” (p. 39) Describe how Spider’s home is a safe space not just for him but for his friends and other people. What role does his mom play in creating this space?

9. Do you agree with Ava that “be the change” is “‘just a platitude beloved by people who don’t want actual systemic change enacted’”? (p. 6) What does “be the change” mean to you?

10. Examine the layers of privilege that exist for the cryptology players, including within each team. What adversities do the marginalized players face? What advantages do privileged players hold? Is it possible to be a player who faces adversity and holds privilege? Use examples from the text to support your claims.

11. Gentrification is a major theme in the novel and, unfortunately, reflects real life. Perhaps you live in or near a neighborhood experiencing gentrification. What are the signs of gentrification? You can cite evidence from the text, your lived experience, and information you have found on social or news sites.

12. Many social issues are interconnected and impact varying aspects of a community, including socioeconomic status, immigration, the environment, laws and policies, education, housing, employment, access to food and health care, and more. Discuss the specific ways every character in the book is affected by Roundworld’s existence and their plans to build an oil refinery.

13. Abba advises Team Jericho to “‘never let ambition ruin a friendship,’” which could be a moment of foreshadowing (p. 84). Describe the turning point of the team’s relationship. When did they start fighting and why?

14. Han’s brother works for Roundworld, earning extra income their family needs. Han wonders, “Is Roundworld really the enemy? For my family, I mean?” (p. 119) In pairs, discuss how difficult this situation is, considering that Han’s friends and their families have a different experience. Is Han’s thinking “wrong”? Has a situation like this ever occurred in your own life? How do you navigate your values and needs with the values and needs of others? Discuss as a class.

15. After Jax successfully boards the bus to get away from Lucas and Karim, the bus driver hears Lucas call Jax a thief, and his demeanor completely changes toward Jax. As a class, discuss how quickly Jax’s safety was compromised. How do words have power? Do everyone’s words hold the same level of power and influence? Expand on your answer.

16. When the two teams arrive at Thirty Foods to search for the third clue, Karim is treated kindly instead of suspiciously by the employees, while Jax and Spider are stereotyped. Then, when Lucas shoots the window, Jax is immediately arrested while Spider has time to run away. As a group, discuss the intersections of class and race in this scene.

17. What was your first impression of the Order, and how did your thoughts develop as the story progressed? Did any of their clues foreshadow the ending? How would you approach the puzzle if you were playing?

18. Compare Team Jericho with Team Royal. How does friendship manifest in each team’s gameplay and throughout the story?

19. While Karim is wealthy, at the end of the day, both he and Jax are Black and are racially profiled by the police. Through this experience, the boys offer each other solidarity and begin a tentative friendship. Yas and Sigge also connect through shared identities and establish a truce. Practice empathy by taking five minutes to freewrite about the challenges people may face due to their identities. You can also write about yourself. What are ways you can offer solidarity or would like to receive solidarity?

20. The Jump is a contemporary fiction novel that borrows from real-life issues. Discuss how the contemporary genre label fits the story and how it would be different if it were written as fantasy, horror, science fiction, or nonfiction. As a bonus, find a current event that matches the topics in the book.

Extension Activities

1. In groups of four, create a plan for a cryptology scavenger hunt. Name your team, create a logo, and identify the core strengths and role of each member. Make sure to include the following elements in your plan: a set of three to four clues, a gameplay walkthrough, and a map of where the clues are.

2. Split the class into two sides to debate on the topic of civil unrest. In the novel, a recurring theme is that protestors and the Order are promoting civil unrest instead of peace and unity. Flip a coin to determine which side will be “affirmative” and which will be “negative.” Each side will be arguing for or against the following statement: “Civil unrest is an effective way to create change.”

3. Han watches Celea Beale, Tribal Council member of the Duwamish tribe, speak about environmental justice and her tribe’s protests against big oil polluting and destroying ecosystems. Research current issues of environmental justice and environmental racism, and then create an informative one- to three-minute video. Be sure to provide credit or citations for where you found your information. Be creative with your video and push yourself out of your comfort zone! It does not have to be a video of you recording yourself speaking on the topic. Choose one of the following topics for your video:

- A Native American or Indigenous environmental activist

- Your reaction to learning about environmental racism. If you live in an area affected by it, you can choose to share how it affects you.

- A call to action with steps viewers can take to fight for environmental justice

4. Imagine that The Jump is an interactive game. It could be a multiplayer online role-playing game or a complex card game. Choose a character and create a profile/card for them that includes their character traits, strengths, weaknesses, special skills, catch phrases, and any extra information you think is relevant.

5. Throughout The Jump, the characters encounter challenges that prove nobody is immune to bias. They make assumptions based on what they perceive to be true due to stereotypes, prejudices, learned behavior, and personal experiences. Learn about unconscious and hidden bias by reading this article from Learning for Justice, titled “Test Yourself for Hidden Bias.” (https://www.learningforjustice.org/professional-development/test-yourself-for-hidden-bias) Then write a reflection paper examining times where you experienced unconscious bias toward you and times when you held unconscious bias toward others. Consider actions you can take to change your own behavior or defend yourself against bias.

Note: Page numbers refer to the hardcover edition of this title.

Guide written by Cynthia Medrano, librarian and member of the Rise: A Feminist Book Project Committee.

This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes. For more Simon & Schuster guides and classroom materials, please visit simonandschuster.net or simonandschuster.net/thebookpantry.

About The Author

Author photograph © 2019 by Kariba Jack Photography

Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY, The Cost of Knowing, and The Jump, and has written video game narrative for Insomniac Games’s Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 for PlayStation 5, Unknown Worlds’s Subnautica: Below Zero, and Soma Games’s The Lost Legends of Redwall. She is the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club. She holds a BA in economics. You can find her online at AuthorBrittneyMorris.com and on Twitter or Instagram @BrittneyMMorris.

Why We Love It

The Jump is SO! FUN! Brittney Morris is a true talent in creating these high-action plots with a cast of characters straight out of a movie, characters who are funny and charming and exactly the kind of kids you’d want to be friends with. But our favorite thing about Brittney is that she’s unafraid to explore tough, real-world issues in her highly commercial stories. The Jump tackles gentrification, privilege, and class in a way that never feels preachy or soapbox-y, but rather real, raw, and relatable.”

—Deeba Z., Editor, on The Jump

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (March 7, 2023)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665904001
  • Ages: 12 - 99

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Awards and Honors

  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List High School Title
  • TAYSHAS Reading List (TX)

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