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The Jumping Tree (Laurel-Leaf Books) Mass Market Paperback – December 10, 2002

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-9-A lively novel told through vignettes about growing up in Nuevo Pe-itas, TX. American-born Rey and his loving family maintain close ties with their Mexican relatives, who live "a stone's throw" away across the border, yet have very different opportunities. Rey's family, though poor, struggles and survives through their kind and honest efforts, religious beliefs, and hard work. Just entering adolescence, Rey yearns to be a man like his father, uncles, and older male cousins. The boys of the barrio play marbles and "king of the mountain," climb trees, and collect cigarette butts. The title comes from one of the boys' challenges: to jump from the upper branches of a mammoth mesquite to another without falling. Unfortunately, Rey is the youngest and his legs are short. Predictably, he falls, and he ends up with a broken wrist. The writing is engaging and accessible, with Spanish-language phrases and names smoothly integrated throughout. Loosely tied together, the chapters create a cohesive whole. Rey is an appealing protagonist who will speak to early adolescents. Salda-a draws extended family together and binds one boy's growth into manhood with real emotion and believable events.

Gail Richmond, San Diego Unified Schools, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-12.Although labeled a novel, The Jumping Tree reads like a collection of related short stories that follow Rey Castanada from sixth through eighth grade. Rey easily crosses the border to visit family in Mexico. But he begins to question the authority of the border police and the sanitized history in his textbook, as he learns about civil disobedience. Wavering between childhood and glimmers of adult life, he plays rough, little-kid games with his friends, stumbles into his first romantic relationships, and loses his best friend to drugs and crime. Always, Rey tries to figure out what it means to be a man, looking to his tough, loving father as his model. With lots of self-deprecating humor and an air of reminiscence, Saldana's lively, poignant work asks universal questions while remaining culturally specific, filled with Chicano language and customs. Contemporary, subtle, and real, both titles will find a place in literature and creative-writing classes, and for readers' personal interest. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0770 (What's this?)
  • Series: Laurel-Leaf Books
  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (December 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440228816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440228813
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
René Saldaña's The Jumping Tree tells the story of Rey Castañeda, a boy growing up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where I am from. This is one genuine book. The things Rey and his friends do in this book are the same kinds of things I did with my cousins and friends growing up. With a style that actually made me laugh out loud, René writes about playing King of the Mountain, throwing pretend grenades at each other and jumping down from a tree to try and catch a branch. He does a superb job of showing readers that most Mexican kids' games are based on proving your friend is a bigger "chicken" than you are. He also has a great ear for South Texas slang. You read what these characters say to each other and you are transported. If you're from the Valley you're hearing your friends or cousins talking to you all over again. If you're not, you're given a rare opportunity to visit a wonderful place that is full of hilarious people with great stories to tell. I plan to use this one in the classroom as an engaging read-aloud. I look forward to reading more from this promising young author. You got it, René! Dale gas!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
i am a 6th grade student from Burlington, Washington. I am writing a book review for the jumping tree

The Jumping Tree is a book about a boy named Rey. He is a Mexican. When he was little, he had an earthquake in his home. His house got ruined and now half of his famaly moved to south texas to nuevo penitas and the other half to mexico about fifty miles away.

His family finds a home and these other bigger kids there start to bully him. But a kid named Chuy helps him. Now he must face the trubles of becoming a man. He has to decide to smoke or not to and is running from the cops and even goes to a funeral. This is an action packed book that I recommend to kids 9 years of age to 14 years of age .
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Format: Hardcover
Saldana does a wonderful job chronicling the life of a Chicano boy growing up in a Texas border town through lively and entertaining episodes that richly exhibit the world inhabited by Rey Casteneda and his family. Rey is a good boy with a supportive family who help him to overcome the crises and problems that arise when trying to straddle two cultures that are often at odds with each other. What Saldana does best in this book is portray Rey's sense of joy and pride with himself, his family, and especially with his father.
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A Kid's Review on February 3, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I absolutely loved the book! I felt, even though Rey and I are really different, the author shapes the character so that anybody can relate to him. I enjoyed reading as he struggled to field right and wrong, which everyone does from time to time. And especially the personal things, like his Tio Angel dying, I can totally relate what Rey went through. His defined writing makes Rey almost real. I have had to set the book down and remember that Rey is a character in a story. It is that good.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book with my 5th grade students and they loved it! It is a non-traditional reading which made my students really want to get to know the kid in the book. My reluctant readers really enjoyed the book as well. It's a very comfortable and enjoyable book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was extremly goopd for me because it gives a message about how we should look on the things you have and not be
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