Battle of Jericho Book Summary – A Gripping Tale of Power and Betrayal

Battle of Jericho is a gripping young adult novel written by Sharon M. Draper. Set in the inner city of Cincinnati, the story follows the lives of a group of high school students who are …

Battle of Jericho Book Summary - A Gripping Tale of Power and Betrayal

Battle of Jericho is a gripping young adult novel written by Sharon M. Draper. Set in the inner city of Cincinnati, the story follows the lives of a group of high school students who are part of the prestigious Warriors of Distinction drill team. Led by their charismatic captain, Jericho “Jay” Jackson, the team is determined to win the National Drill Team Competition and secure their place in history.

As the story unfolds, the tension builds, and readers are taken on an emotional rollercoaster. Draper expertly delves into the complexities of teenage life, addressing issues such as peer pressure, identity, and the consequences of one’s actions. Through her vivid and realistic portrayal of the characters, she explores the power dynamics within the group and the impact they have on individual choices.

Battle of Jericho is a thought-provoking and thoughtfully written novel that will resonate with readers of all ages. Draper’s ability to tackle difficult subjects with sensitivity and honesty makes this book a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the challenges and triumphs of adolescence.


The Battle of Jericho is a young adult novel written by Sharon M. Draper. It was first published in 2003 and tells the story of a group of high school students who form an elite gospel choir called “The Warriors of Jericho.” The novel is set in Cincinnati, Ohio, and explores themes of friendship, faith, and the power of music.

The main character of the story is Joshua “JB” Ballard, a talented singer and the nephew of the choir director, Mr. Byrd. JB is excited to join the choir and become a part of the group’s rich history and success. However, he soon realizes that being a member of The Warriors of Jericho is not easy.

The choir is known for its strict rules and high expectations. They practice for hours every day and are expected to maintain good grades and behavior. The leader of the choir, Miss Johnson, is a strict disciplinarian who pushes the members to their limits. Despite the challenges, JB and his friends are determined to succeed and make their mark in the world of gospel music.

As the story unfolds, JB and his friends face various obstacles and conflicts both within the choir and in their personal lives. They must navigate issues of race, identity, and self-discovery, all while striving to excel as members of The Warriors of Jericho. Through their journey, they learn the importance of perseverance, teamwork, and staying true to oneself.

READ MORE  Summary of "Female Persuasion Empowering Women through Influence and Motivation"

The Battle of Jericho is a compelling coming-of-age story that explores the complexities of adolescence and the power of music to bring people together. It highlights the struggles and triumphs of young people as they navigate the challenges of growing up and finding their place in the world.

Main Characters

The Battle of Jericho features a diverse cast of characters who navigate the challenges of teenage life while participating in a high-stakes step competition. Here are the main characters:

  • Joshua “Josh” Prescott – The protagonist, Josh is a talented and dedicated stepper who is determined to lead his team to victory.
  • Bethany “Bee” Thompson – Josh’s best friend and fellow stepper, Bee is a strong and confident young woman who provides support and guidance to Josh.
  • Goodie Goodman – A skilled stepper and the captain of the team, Goodie is a natural leader who is respected by his peers.
  • Rhonda “Ronnie” Mack – A talented stepper who faces personal challenges, Ronnie struggles with the pressure to succeed and the expectations of her family.
  • Braylin – A charismatic and talented stepper, Braylin is known for his showmanship and ability to captivate audiences.
  • Miss Johnson – The team’s coach and mentor, Miss Johnson pushes the team to excel while also providing guidance and support.
  • Mr. Watson – The principal of the high school, Mr. Watson is initially skeptical of the step team but becomes a strong supporter.
  • Ms. Mitchell – A teacher at the high school, Ms. Mitchell helps the step team with their choreography and provides encouragement.

These characters, along with the rest of the step team, face personal and external challenges as they work towards their goal of winning the step competition.

Plot Summary

The novel “Battle of Jericho” tells the story of a high school student named Jericho Prescott who becomes a member of an elite secret society called The Warriors of Distinction. The group is known for their dedication to academic excellence and community service, but also for their secret rituals and hazing practices.

Jericho is thrilled to be chosen as a pledge for the society, but quickly realizes that the initiation process is more intense than he expected. He is put through a series of physical and mental challenges, including dangerous stunts and humiliating tasks.

READ MORE  "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" Book Summary

As Jericho progresses through the initiation, he begins to question the values and ethics of the society. He witnesses bullying and hazing that goes beyond what he believes is acceptable, and starts to wonder if the group is really as honorable as they claim to be.

Jericho’s best friend, Josh, also becomes a pledge for the society, but has a different experience. While Jericho becomes increasingly disillusioned, Josh embraces the power and status that comes with being a member of The Warriors of Distinction. This puts a strain on their friendship and leads to conflict between them.

As the initiation reaches its climax, Jericho must make a decision about whether to continue with the society or expose their dark secrets. He ultimately chooses to stand up for what he believes in, risking his own safety and reputation.

The novel explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the dangers of blind conformity. It raises important questions about the line between tradition and abuse, and the importance of standing up against injustice.

Key Themes

The Battle of Jericho explores several key themes throughout the book. These themes include:

Peer Pressure

One of the central themes in the book is peer pressure. The main character, Jericho, is constantly faced with pressure from his friends to join a secret society called The Warriors of Distinction. This theme highlights the challenges and consequences of succumbing to peer pressure and the importance of making independent decisions.

Identity and Self-Discovery

Another important theme in the book is the exploration of identity and self-discovery. Jericho grapples with his own sense of identity as he navigates the pressures of high school and the expectations of his friends and family. This theme delves into the process of self-discovery and the journey to find one’s true self.

These themes are woven throughout the narrative, providing readers with a deeper understanding of the characters and their motivations. The Battle of Jericho offers a thought-provoking exploration of these themes, making it a compelling read for young adults.

Symbolism and Allegory

The novel “Battle of Jericho” contains several symbols and allegorical elements that contribute to its overall meaning and themes. These symbols and allegories help to convey deeper messages and add layers of meaning to the story.

READ MORE  Mindfulness and Happiness: A Summary of "10 Happier" Book

The Wall

One of the central symbols in the book is the wall that the characters are trying to climb as part of their initiation into the Warriors of Distinction. The wall represents the obstacles and challenges that the characters face on their journey towards maturity and self-discovery. It symbolizes the barriers they must overcome in order to grow and find their true selves. The wall also serves as a metaphor for the societal barriers and prejudices that they face as African American teenagers.

The Trumpet

Battle of Jericho Book Summary - A Gripping Tale of Power and Betrayal

Another important symbol in the novel is the trumpet that Josh finds hidden in his father’s closet. The trumpet represents Josh’s talent and passion for music, as well as his desire to find his own voice and express himself. It symbolizes the power of music to transcend boundaries and bring people together. The trumpet also serves as a reminder of Josh’s father, who was a talented musician himself and serves as a source of inspiration and guidance for Josh throughout the story.

The symbolism and allegory in “Battle of Jericho” help to deepen the themes of identity, perseverance, and the power of self-expression. Through these symbols, the author invites readers to reflect on their own personal challenges and the importance of staying true to oneself in the face of adversity.

Leave a Comment