Jumping into Nothing

Overview

Sophie is glad it's summer because after her summer-school math class she can hang out at the local swimming pool with her best friend, Annalise. But she's scared to jump off the high diving board, and that's what everyone else wants to do, even Annalise. Maybe, Sophie thinks, she can train herself to be brave by making a list of scary things to do and doing them, one by one. If she can do a math problem on the board and ride her bike no-hands, surely she can manage that jump! Short, humorous, easy-to-read ...

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Overview

Sophie is glad it's summer because after her summer-school math class she can hang out at the local swimming pool with her best friend, Annalise. But she's scared to jump off the high diving board, and that's what everyone else wants to do, even Annalise. Maybe, Sophie thinks, she can train herself to be brave by making a list of scary things to do and doing them, one by one. If she can do a math problem on the board and ride her bike no-hands, surely she can manage that jump! Short, humorous, easy-to-read chapters with plenty of funny illustrations tell the lively story of Sophie's summer project and the surprising discoveries she makes on the way to her goal.

Nine-year-old Sophie tries to deal with her fear of jumping off the high diving board at the community pool by listing other things she is afraid of doing and forcing herself to do them.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This early chapter book delivers its reassuring message with a light hand (and some interesting complications), and Sophie proves an honest and engaging narrator." Horn Book Guide

Willner-Pardo puts the theme explored in Rosemary Wells's Edward The Unready series into an easy chapter book with this accessible tale of a child working her way up to jumping from the local pool's high board. When neither peer pressure nor her best friend Annalise's example can get Sophie all the way up the ladder, she decides to try conquering her fear by doing other scary things, such as sleeping without a nightlight, eating a bug, and volunteering to do a math problem at the board in summer school. Finally, with her father's gentle encouragement, she does the deed, explaining later to Annalise that she wasn't any less frightened than beforeshe was just ready. The author's...lively sense of humor and intelligent, considerate cast keep this from being weighted down by its agenda. Chang's occasional black-and-white illustrations place sweet-faced young characters into tidy suburban settings.
Kirkus Reviews

Terri Schmitz
Afraid to jump off the high dive, Sophie is branded "chicken" by the two coolest girls in her class. She devises a plan to conquer her fear and while working through her lost of "Scary Things to Do," discovers that for somethings, "it's better if you just wait for the right time." This early chapter book delivers its reassuring message with a light hand and Sophie proves an honest and engaging narrator.
The Horn Book Guide
Children's Literature - Sharon Tolle
This is a great book to launch a summer reading program. Sophie has a great summer planned. Sunny days at the pool with her best friend, sleeping in, staying up late, and getting the best tan ever. It was the perfect start to a great vacation until the coolest girls from school suggested a race jumping off the high dive. Sophie had never jumped off the high dive before and she had no intention of even trying. She earns the nickname "Sophies Chicken." With the help of her best friend she soon realizes that sometimes you have to meet your fears head on. Sohpie makes a list of other scary things and one by one she conquers her fears. Now she must tackle her biggest fear of all, jumping into the pool from the diving board. Come poolside with the girls and watch as Sophie attempts the high dive.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-3-Jumping off of the high diving board really does seem like jumping into nothing for Sophie. She and her friend Annalise find their relationship tested when the two most popular-but sometimes mean-girls in their grade befriend brave Annalise but leave Sophie behind to rue her public fear. She decides to make a list of things she must find the courage to do, but it is her dad who helps her see that sometimes it's just a matter of taking your time and being ready to take the next step. The girls' conversations reflect their talent for observing others and their growing ability to evaluate relationships. Chang's full-page and spot-art pencil drawings follow the text closely and portray primary graders. The issues of this beginning chapter book ring true to that age, when allegiance to friends hasn't eclipsed connection to parents.-Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Willner-Pardo puts the theme explored in Rosemary Wells's Edward The Unready series into an easy chapter book with this accessible tale of a child working her way up to jumping from the local pool's high board. When neither peer pressure nor her best friend Annalise's example can get Sophie all the way up the ladder, she decides to try conquering her fear by doing other scary things, such as sleeping without a nightlight, eating a bug, and volunteering to do a math problem at the board in summer school. Finally, with her father's gentle encouragement, she does the deed, explaining later to Annalise that she wasn't any less frightened than before—she was just ready. The author can't resist spelling out the lessons, but her lively sense of humor and intelligent, considerate cast keep this from being weighted down by its agenda. Chang's occasional black-and-white illustrations place sweet-faced young characters into tidy suburban settings. (Fiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395841303
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 470L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Gina Willner-Pardo is the author of 15 books, including Jason and the Losers and Figuring Out Frances, which won the Bank Street College of Education Josette Frank Award. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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