by Monica Tesler
Grades 4 & up
Jasper has grown up knowing that he is a Bounder, but his mother has always cautioned him against telling others. Bounders are children who have been selectively bred from a recessive gene that was mostly weeded out over time. (My best guess after reading this book is that Bounders are on the Autism spectrum, but it never specifically says.) Bounders are called such because their minds are best suited for “bounding,” an instantaneous type of space travel. Jasper is in the first group of Bounders to head for training at the Earth Force Academy, where he and the others will learn to harness their abilities. Filled with futuristic science and space travel, it is clear that a great deal is resting on the abilities of the Bounders to fulfill their mission. It feels almost like a Harry Potter/Ender’s Game mash-up, with a great mix of humor, science, and adventure. Recommended for grades 4 & up.
(Note: this appears to have been retitled Earth Force Rising for the paperback edition.)