CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 1. . . .September 7, 2012
Jump Cut. (Seven The Series).
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2012.
219 pp., trade pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.). For pricing information about digital options, including multi-user ebook subscriptions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
ISBN 978-1-5546-9947-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-5546-9948-3 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-5546-9949-0 (epub).
Seven (the series) Bundle. ISBN 978-1-4598-0270-4. $59.95.
Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.
Review by Erin Walker.
Reviewed from Advance Review Copy.
"What's wrong with you? Get shooting."
"This. Your grandpa said, Make a Movie. Look at what I'm giving you here. What more do you want?"
"But this is just …stuff. Real life. It's weird, but there's no story or anything."
Her painted-on eyebrows go up, and I can tell she's probably rolling her eyes behind her sunglasses.
"No sto—You really don't know anything, do you? It's all in the editing. Life is a movie with no jump cuts. It's the cutting makes the movie."
Jump Cut is one of the seven titles in Orca's new "Seven" series which follows seven teenaged grandsons as they embark on individual journeys assigned to them by their deceased grandfather in his will. Each volume in the series is written by a different Canadian author. Jump Cut is by Ted Staunton, a well-established author of picture books, junior novels and YA. Staunton's previous books include the popular "Green Apple Street Gang" series and Hope Springs a Leak which was shortlisted for the Silver Birch and Hackmatack awards.
Seventeen-year-old Spencer McClean's task seems dull compared to the others. He doesn't get to travel to Europe or Africa like his cousins, or get a cool tattoo like his younger brother, Bunny. Spencer's task is to film himself being kissed on the cheek by the elderly washed-up film star, Gloria Lorraine. Spencer travels to Gloria's retirement home in Buffalo to complete his task. But the sharp-tongued and strong-willed woman has other plans. She ropes Spencer into a madcap escapade involving her granddaughter, a baker/mobster and a Chihuahua named Mistah Bones. The unlikely companions end up on a road trip to northern Ontario as they unpeel the layers of an old family secret, all the while entangled in a drug-related gang conflict. The whole scenario seems ripped from the pages of a film script, and Spencer wonders if it's one big set up. But, as Gloria Lorraine's connection to Spencer's grandfather is revealed, Spencer, the film buff, realizes why his grandfather picked him for the task and that real life can be far more exciting than the movies.
In Jump Cut, Staunton offers plenty of action, intrigue, and well-placed humour. The way the story intertwines with Spencer's younger brother's journey adds further interest and keeps readers guessing to the end. The film allusions throughout are clever and appropriate, and the cast of characters is both interesting and convincing. Although the publisher recommends this series for ages 10 and up, the novel does deal with some mature themes, and there's some language that may not be appropriate for younger readers—though the protagonist does his best to keep it "mostly PG."
Readers will thoroughly enjoy Jump Cut on its own or as part of this unique new series.
Erin Walker is the Children's Services Librarian with the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library.
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