JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade: Jo Hammet, Kid Detective is a grade-based JumpStart game that was made by Knowledge Adventure in 1997. As the title suggests, the game is intended to teach a fifth grade curriculum.

Throughout the course of the game, which is set in the fictional city of Hooverville, the user must (while playing the role of a fifth grade detective by the name of Jo Hammet) thwart the schemes of the evil Dr. X, who is planning to destroy factories and power plants to get revenge on them for cutting his research funding.



After Jo wakes up from a horrible nightmare, she finds out that her television isn't working. She later learns on the radio that Dr. X blew up the television station, although no one was hurt. She boards the school bus with her skateboard that she keeps with her at all times. She and her class go on a field trip to the museum. At the museum, the janitor's nephew Martin bumps into Jo Hammet, drops his glasses, and suddenly gets taken away by some thugs.


The game's conclusion takes place at the Boulder Canyon Dam. Dr. X, who was only shown in silhouette until that point, is finally seen. He blows up the pumping station, raising the water pressure substantially so that when he blows up the dam, the water will destroy the entire city. Jo Hammet then travels to the bomb where the player is supposed to click a small switch near Jo that will move a gate, which will divert the water away from the city. Jo Hammet saves the city, although Dr. X disappears, never to be heard from again.


Course of a Mission

JumpStart 5th Grade is set up as a series of missions (similar to JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain and JumpStart Adventures 4th Grade: Haunted Island); however, unlike the aforementioned games, it has a relatively small amount of missions (only 6). Also, unlike most main characters in JumpStart games, Jo Hammet rarely mentions the player's existence, making it seem as if, unlike most other games, in which the player seems to be guided through the game by a virtual host, the player is actually playing Jo Hammet rather than merely "working" with her. In each mission, the games are played in a certain order. Each mission starts with the Hooverville Museum of Art and Geography.

  1. The Hooverville Museum of Art and Geography: When Jo Hammet was on a field trip with her class, she literally bumped into someone here and he was carried away by a bunch of thugs. However, he left a mysterious pair of glasses behind. Later a talking rat named B. F. Skinny (after B. F. Skinner) shows up with a crossword. The user helps Jo Hammet crack the secret code in this puzzle.
  2. First Visit to the Sabotaged Site: It turns out the crossword reveals the address of a place that has been sabotaged. Naturally, the door is locked. The user must solve a math puzzle in order to open it. On the first mission, Martin (the person kidnapped by thugs in the art museum) is chained here. He explains that the glasses can be used to read the minds of the thugs. The user then plays a grammar game where they find the correct word to go into the thugs' dialog. Their thoughts reveal the way to get to the bomb.
  3. Searching for Clues: It turns out that Jo Hammet needs three items in order to get the bomb. She must visit three different places in town to get them.
    1. The Squishy Juice Bar
    2. The Junkyard
    3. Boulder Canyon Mine Shaft
  4. The Dungeon
  5. Second Visit to the Sabotaged Site: Upon the second visit to sabotaged site, Jo Hammet uses the items to get to the bomb without getting hurt. To disable the bomb, the user must play a decimal game where they attempt to make the number in one box equal to the number in the target box using a little android. Naturally, there are some defense androids that try to stop the user. If the user's android runs into one of the defense androids, the bomb is shown to go off, but Jo then appears on the screen and, breaking the fourth wall, informs the user that this can't happen in an educational product and the game resets. Once the bomb has been successfully disarmed, Jo Hammet returns to the museum and gets a new crossword from B.F. Skinny, and the next mission begins.

Educational Concepts

  • Fractions and Decimals
  • Equations
  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Multiplication and Long Division
  • Geometry
  • Ratios
  • Compound Words
  • Prepositions
  • Pronouns
  • Verb Tenses
  • Prefixes and Suffixes
  • Earth Science
  • Physical Science
  • Geography
  • Map Reading
  • U.S. History
  • Art History
  • Logic
  • Problem Solving
  • Deductive Reasoning


See JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade: Jo Hammet, Kid Detective/Credits


  • It is likely that Hooverville was inspired by Boulder City, Nevada and Hoover Dam. When the names are switched, "Boulder City" becomes "Hooverville" and "Hoover Dam" becomes "Boulder Canyon Dam."
    • Also, note that Maggie Mead is seemingly named after Lake Mead or possibly Margaret Mead.