Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Love Double Dutch - a review 4.10.18

Years ago my daughter became obsessed with this movie series, maybe you've heard of it... High School Musical??  She would dance around singing the songs, belting out the "love ballads".  It wasn't the story she enjoyed, it was definitely the singing, the music, the dancing.  Her favorite character was Chad, played by actor Corbin Bleu.  Luckily for her, Disney saw his talent and his sweet moves and casted him in another movie - Jump In.  This one was about double Dutch.  In the age of the DVR, it was really easy to record and watch the movie... over and over and over.  Again, the parts that captivated my daughter were the scenes that had the characters jumping, especially to music.  I'm not going to lie - I did enjoy watching those parts myself - seeing these jumpers move in and out of the ropes flawlessly and then add choreographed movements and tumbling.  It's impressive!  So when I heard about this book, I knew it would be one to read!

Love Double Dutch!
Love Double Dutch!
by Doreen Spicer-Dannelly
published by Random House Children's Books
April 3rd

Goodreads Summary:
From the creator of the popular Disney Channel original movie, Jump In! comes a double Dutch novel perfect for fans of stories about sports, summer, and friendship.

Brooklyn middle-schooler MaKayla can only think about one thing--taking her double Dutch team all the way to the National Jump-off at Madison Square Garden. That is, until her mother breaks the news. Kayla has to spend the summer at her aunt's house in North Carolina while her parents work out their problems . . . or decide to call it quits.

Kayla does not feel at home in the South, and she certainly doesn't get along with her snooty cousin Sally. It looks like her Jump-off dreams are over.

Hold the phone! Turns out, double Dutch is huge in the South. She and Sally just need to find two more kids for a team. And a routine. And the confidence to stand up to the double Dutch divas who used to be Sally's BFFs. Time to show those Southern belles some Brooklyn attitude!

Why You Want to Know About This Book

Middle school students are going to love this book.  It's edgy enough - there is some language and a romance within the story - yet it has an empowering message about believing in yourself and working hard towards a goal.  I think it's great that this book is shining a spotlight on double Dutch, a sport that doesn't really get a focus placed on it too often.  I like that author Spicer-Dannelly takes the time to incorporate within the story information about competitions and the different routines teams have to go through.  It reminded me a little of old-time gymnastics where there is a compulsory round and a freestyle round.
The characters and their development were fun to read about.  There are multiple chances for readers to relate to situations - whether it's to kids whose parents are going through a tough time, or kids who don't always get along with family, or kids who are being bullied for something they did or didn't do.  I think kids are going to enjoy meeting Kayla and Sally and will care about what happens to them.

Give This to Kids Who...

  • are looking for an edgier story without it being too YA
  • enjoy books that have some nail biting suspense due to competitions
  • like GIRL POWER books!
  • enjoy sports stories 
  • like characters who look and sound like they do and have real life problems

take a look at this video of some compulsory moves - they stay more basic but there are certain moves that a team must do and everything has to be done perfect in order to move on in the competition.

here are some jumpers competing in the speed round

the freestyle routines are so fun to watch!

I'll leave you with some Corbin Bleu from Jump In!

I hope you find a copy of this book for your middle school library.  I know you have readers for this book!


  1. Strong girls, a little bit edgy, characters with real life problems - Can't wait to read this book!