Steven C. Gould
When my son was little, he promised me that was he was going to do for mankind was invent a teleporter machine, so that there would be no more pollution from gas and diesel engines. He's grown up, and still hasn't made me my teleporting machine, darn it!
Davy, the hero of Jumper, discovers that he can teleport without any machine at all. He's a highschool student living with his alcoholic father. During a particularly bad beating Davy suddenly finds himself in a place he feels safe: the public library.
This leads him to experiment and learn how to control his unique power. Gould must have either been very young when he wrote this, or been in excellent touch with his teenaged self. Davy's voice is so authentic that I would think some of the libraries would shelve this in the Young Adult section.
Davy is smart, caring and resourceful. He is also ignorant of how things work in the bureaucracies of the world. He is caught in a very hard life and makes some bad decisions and some good decisions in order to survive. He moves to NY City to get away from the abusive father, which gets him into a pretty big mess. With no ID, no birth certificate, no social security number, his options are limited and it's only a matter of time until some authorities, either IRS, military, school or others, start to hunt him down.
The book sidesteps the hard questions about being the son of an alcoholic. I found this disappointing. Instead, there is a long and involved (albeit exciting and interesting) section where Davy decides to go after some terrorists. While this is the way the author brings Davy back to his home issues, I found the book very interesting in that it dealt with terrorists PRE-9/11. At one point Davy meets with a State department official, who briefs him on terrorism.
"'One of the problems with American public policy on terrorism is that our government insists on blurring the line between armed insurgence against the military forces and installations, and attacks on uninvolved civilians. Now, obviously attacking unarmed civilians who have no involvement with a particular political issue is terrorism. But an attack on an armed military force occupying one's homeland? That's not terrorism...'
'Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that the proportion of American dead from terrorism is wayou out of proportion to the response it generates. We did nothing to stop the Iran-Iraq war because we perceived it in our interests that damage be done to both of those countries.'"
There is more to this conversation, which I found to be the most interesting in the entire book, as it relates to the way our country used to treat terrorism, pre-Bush. Quite enlightening, and it points out the huge spin machine that the government currently uses to twist the meaning of even the word terrorism.
Of course Gould didn't have this in mind, he was just putting out what was happening back in 1992. Sometimes hindsight is a good thing.