Cover image for Jump-man : rule #1 : don't touch anything
Jump-man : rule #1 : don't touch anything
Valentine, James, 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2004.

Physical Description:
268 pages ; 22 cm
Reading Level:
Ages 8-12.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 4.5 8.0 78605.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Y FICTION Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Theo knows the Rule, just as every kid from the year fifteen billion and seventy-three does: When using your TimeMaster JumpMan for routine time travel,DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING.And usually, when traveling to routine JumpSites like Three Seconds After the Big Bang or the Building of the Great Pyramid, this is no problem. But Theo's latest TimeJump is anything but routine. First, this Jump has put him in theearly twenty-first century,of all places. Second, he has found himself visible to Genevieve and Jules, just as Jules is about to ask Gen out on a date. And finally, his JumpMan won't send him back to where he came from.Will Theo get back to his own time, without disintegrating? Will the very fabric of space and time be torn to shreds? And most important...will Jules ever be able to ask Gen out on that date? Only time will tell in this roller-coaster ride of action, humor, and suspense from international best-seller James Valentine.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-8. Hair gel that pulsates like neon lights and a coat that advises its wearer about the nutrient content of food are just two of the comical details imagined by Australian author Valentine. Thirteen-year-old Jules thinks his main struggles are with his overactive brain, his status as new kid at school, and the prospect of asking Gen on a date. But those things seem mere irritants after Theodore drops in from the future on a JumpMan that isn't quite ready for mass production. Theodore scoffs at the rudimentary lifestyle of twenty-first-century folks, but as his JumpMan isn't operating well enough to get him home, he's stuck with Gen and Jules, whom he conducts to a variety of JumpSites--among them, the dawn of civilization. The real fun, however, is in the present: Gen's mother accidentally makes two of herself; Jules' father waffles about having the big talk with his son; and Theo can't behave at school. Moral and ethical issues are nicely incorporated into a plot filled with high adventure and engaging characters. --Francisca Goldsmith Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This launch of a new series, a bestseller in the author's native Australia, offers a contemporary take and a humorous twist on time travel. Jules Santorini, "aged thirteen and a bit," is about to ask his lifelong friend Gen out on a date, if his nerves will allow him. His plans are thwarted, however, when a boy with "light chocolatey skin" and Technicolor hair suddenly materializes between them in Gen's room. This is Theodore, and he is a "Jumper" from the 52nd century, a time when a handheld device called the TimeMaster JumpMan provides its users with an opportunity for leisure travel to moments of great historical import. But while most Jumpers land a safe distance from the action, unable to interfere with history, Theodore has somehow become "present." It turns out that the new JumpMan he won in a contest is a not-quite-ready prototype that was slipped to him by mistake-or was it? Valentine has great fun with the vagaries and implied complexities of time travel ("So you went into the future to rewind the past to catch up with the present we would have had if we hadn't had had that future?"), explains that Bill Gates and Leonardo Da Vinci are renegades from the future, and makes good use of Theodore's perspective to editorialize on modern habits (his talking coat continually warns him about the low nutritional value of the food he eats). The author nimbly balances the science-fiction story with the smaller, but just as compelling tale of Jules and his quest for confidence, making this a great read, not just for sci-fi buffs. Ages 8-12. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Imagine Douglas Adams had written The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Crown, 1989) for middle schoolers and you'll have a good idea of the pace, style, and overall inspired silliness of this Australian import. Thirteen-year-old Jules has just worked up the nerve to ask his childhood friend Gen out on a date when a slightly older guy with much cooler gear materializes in her bedroom. Theo has been stranded in the early 21st century by a malfunction of his new TimeMaster JumpMan Pro. He wants to return home, some 3000 years in the future, just as much as Jules and Gen want him gone, but the teens' immediate problem is keeping Theo hidden and out of trouble long enough to figure out how the unfamiliar JumpMan works. Of course, it's not easy to conceal a chatty kid with light-show hair, a talking Coat, and a complete inability to follow TimeJumping's number one rule: Don't Touch Anything. The edict also prohibits divulging details about the future, and much of the novel's humor comes from Theo's unauthorized revelations, such as the real explanation for Bill Gates (he was actually a juvenile delinquent from Theo's era). Readers will laugh out loud at Theo's arguments with the overly solicitous, advertisement-spouting Coat and Jules's internal dialogues with his own freaked-out, hormone-addled brain. Some characters are a little too cartoonlike, but otherwise this is a well-conceived, well-executed adventure that might even attract kids away from glowing screens.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.