Review: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser, Translated by Romy Fursland

Here is a picture of the beauty we are examining today, taken from Amazon…

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I found The Book Jumper on a self-prescribed internet quest to find YA fiction in translation. It occurred to me that while I read a fair amount of adult fiction in translation, it had never crossed my mind to search for something in the YA realm. Boy, did I find something this time!

The Book Jumper combines the elements of every bibliophile’s dream and magically knits it into one story. It follows a girl named Amy Lennox and her mother Alexis, who keeps a secret from Amy for years that they can jump into books. The idea of book jumping is a little like that of time travel in Back to the Future; the danger for Marty in that movie is that if you go back in time and mess up any events, the future will be changed permanently (in a very bad way!). When people jump into books here, their job is to leave the story as it is and maintain it. If anything is changed, well, the story won’t be the story it was and dire consequences will arise.

There are ample classic book references in here from Alice in Wonderland to the Jungle Book, for example, and getting to spend time in these stories from the perspective of a book jumper was extremely fun. I’ve read reviews where people say that this felt more like a middle grade novel to them, perhaps because of the fun?, and my opinion is that it is YA, but will appeal to older middle grade audiences. (Age 12, maybe? Use your own discretion when selecting YA novels for older children.)

I truly wish I read German so that I could see where the beautiful prose that results here arises from. This is definitely a 5 star book for me!

Before You Check Out Notes

If you want more bibliophile reads, check-out:

  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (adult book, low fantasy)
  • The Ink and Bone series (YA, one of my favorite series. More adventure/fantasy than The Book Jumper, feels almost dystopian though it takes place in an alternate history.)
  • The Storied Life of A.J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (contemporary adult book, heartwarming story about a bookstore owner.)
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2 thoughts on “Review: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser, Translated by Romy Fursland

  1. I hadn’t realized this was in translation! I’ve been eyeing it since it came out, but don’t have a copy yet.

    I love MG so I don’t find it a problem at all if it reads more like upper MG!

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