Sam has basically checked out. He’s checked out of school, his family, and mostly, life. After being abandoned by his mother at his grandparents house, Sam keeps believing it will only be a temporary gig. However, as the days, then months, and finally years go by, he realizes she isn’t going to be back in his life anytime soon.
So rather than dealing with this, he shuts down. At his grandparents place, he copes by not engaging with them, much at all. At school, he has a list of rules that he lives by. Basically, if he does just enough that the teachers leave him alone he can pretty much just slide through there. Until one day a new student comes to school and gets seated in the back, right next to Sam. And not just in one of his classes, in all six.
Then, as Sam is trying to deal with the fact this tough looking Hispanic kid named Luis is right next to him all day long, he freaks out thinking Luis is going to beat him up. But after a few days, things seem to get into a pattern. Sam doesn’t talk to Luis, Luis doesn’t talk to Sam. However, one day in English, after they get an assignment, Luis breaks that. He tells Sam that the two of them are going to work on the project together. And that is the beginning and the end of many things.
Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott is a gritty look at a teen who has completely lost his way in the world and can’t see a way back. Sam has a choice. Does he want to actually begin living again, or continue on as someone who barely exists. The decision rests with him, regardless of how people around him try to help.
Recommended for grades 8 and up because of language.