Jenny Jump is a character who appears in John R. Neill's Oz book titled The Wonder City of Oz. It is the thirty-fourth book in L. Frank Baum's continued Oz series published in 1940. Jenny Jump is a fifteen-year-old American girl, who gained fairy powers and used them to come to the magical Land of Oz.
Jenny has green eyes and red hair. Her personality is not a smooth fit with the normal way of life in Oz. She is bold, demanding, egotistical, and aggressive. (She worked her assistant Number Nine like a slave.) At one point, the Wizard of Oz used his magic to even out her personal quirks and make her chronologically younger. (The Wonder City of Oz)
The Wizard's transformation was not wholly effective, however. In later adventures Jenny maintains her vigorous outgoing traits. (The Scalawagons of Oz)
Though capable of being brusque, she is not wholly indifferent to the consequences of her actions or the feelings of others. She had a confrontation with the Patchwork Girl that provoked Scraps to run away; but Jenny then went in search of her. (The Runaway in Oz)
While doing her kitchen work, Jenny caught a leprechaun trying to steal her lunch. She demanded that the leprechaun, Syko Pompus, turn her into a fairy — though he escaped when the job was only half done. Still, even as a half-fairy, she was powerful enough to jump all the way to Oz on her fairy foot. She landed in the Emerald City during Ozma's birthday celebration, and was welcomed by the fairy princess. Jenny quickly decided she wanted to be queen, and Ozma agreed to hold an Ozlection (an Oz election), for if the people truly wanted Jenny as their ruler they should have her.
She soon became friends with Number Nine, a munchkin boy, who helped her open a style shop using a magical turnstile she found in an abandoned magic-user's house. While running the shop and and running for Queen, she helped Ozma save the Emerald City from the Heelers, and later from two Nomes and from Chocolate Soldiers. She lost the ozlection to Ozma by a narrow margin, and became angry enough to release the Plant-animals on the city. The Wizard of Oz then removed her temper. (The Wonder City of Oz)
Jenny is John R. Neill's most distinctive character, and the one original character that he employs most frequently. Surviving evidence in Neill's papers shows that at first he developed a character significantly different from the published version. In early illustrations he depicts Jenny as a mature woman in a Puritan-looking costume.
Neill introduced Jenny as a literary character in his first Oz book, The Wonder City of Oz — but that book was radically revised by the editors at Reilly & Lee, so that the Jenny that first appeared in print was different from Neill's original Jenny. Neill's first draft of Wonder City is still extant. There, Jenny becomes something of an outcast once she attains her half-fairy status. Arrogantly, she refuses to associate with humans; but the fairies do not accept her as one of them, either. Jenny is booted out of every fairy community she tries to join. She settles in the Jenny Jump mountains of northwestern New Jersey, where fairies have built beautiful villages in abandoned mines. Jenny has a claim on the mines and tries to force the fairies to pay rent to her. They imprison her for a long time, then banish her from New Jersey forever.
This concept of Jenny's history and age was jettisoned the the Reilly & Lee editors, who gave instead the version in the printed edition of 1940.
Jenny Jump State Forest is located in northwestern New Jersey, near Neill's home in Flanders. The mountain and forest derive their name from a story from the early English settlement era, about a girl who jumped from the mountain to avoid the Minsi Indian tribesmen who pursued her.