Blue Jasmine
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Blue Jasmine

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  343 ratings  ·  71 reviews
When twelve-year-old Seema Trivedi learns that she and her family must move from their small Indian town to Iowa City, she realizes she'll have to say good-bye to the purple-jeweled mango trees and sweet-smelling jasmine, to the monsoon rains and the bustling market. More important, she must leave behind her best friend and cousin, Raju. Everything is different in Iowa Cit...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Disney-Hyperion (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Jennie
Kashmira Sheth earned a Paul Zindel First Novel for this book on cultural differences and the experience of living in American as an immigrant. Seema’s feelings are very honest and realistic which gives the book authenticity. Also the lesson is very appropriate, Seema learns to be kinder to others when she receives her cruel treatment by her classmate Carrie. Sheth provides detailed descriptions filled with metaphors to help readers understand the plight of cross cultural experience. In addition...more
carrietracy
There were many things I liked about this story, the story of coming from India to the United States, learning friendship with Mukta, trying to find a way to fit in - the way it shared some of her mother's struggles as well as Seema's own. Especially interesting is Seema's discovery of the shift in meaning between swastikas in India and their meaning in the US due to WWII and the Nazis.

I had a few problems with it though. The language of the book is easy enough for my more advanced third graders...more
Catherine
While the general plot of this book is interesting - Indian girl on the cusp of adolescence comes to the United States with her family, has to learn to live in a new culture - the execution was woefully lacking. The language is pitched far below that of a twelve year old; the dialogue is terribly artificial (no one actually talks the way that people talk in this book, not even in bad sitcoms, not even in the movies); and the "insights" that the protagonist has as a result of her time in the Stat...more
Matthew
This is undoubtedly one of the best books I have read this year. Simply put, every student should have to read this book and digest it and discuss it. The coming of age story, bullying and conflict resolution, family dynamics, the immigrant experience; it's all here. This book has so much to offer and should have been a Newberry award when it was published.
Jessie
I loved this book as a child. Why did I give it away?!? I loved the colorful imagery and the simple writing. Highly recommended.
Marit ^_^
I wanna read this badly because i know that Kashmira Seth writes great books!
Erin Reilly-Sanders
While I enjoyed my read of Blue Jasmine, I did't think it was especially good. Yes, the topic- immigrating from India to the midwest- is fascinating and since the author is telling a story similar to her own it is likely very authentic but I didn't think that the quality of the writing was that good. I though that the resolution with the instances of bullying in both India and the United States were unrealistic in their positive resolution. In some ways, the book also felt like a laundry list of...more
April Helms
May 26, 2008 April Helms rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults (11+)
I had actually been looking for her newer book and couldn't find it, so I got this one in the meantime. Seema, 12, has just found out that her family is moving from India to the United States. The story is a fairly typical one -- outsider learns to adjust and goes from the fish out of water to swimming with the school. It does have a couple twists, though. One is when a family emergency calls them back to India. Seema realizes how much she has changed, but also how much her roots are still a par...more
SilverRaindrops
"Blue Jasmine" talks about the problems children face when they're forced to emigrate with their parents to a new home in a very sensitive way and keeps it understandable for kids. In spite of the easy language this book should be interesting to adults as well, since the problems protagonist Seema is facing apply to adult situations (outside and beyond school) as well.

I liked it very much that - while she gets to know the American culture - her understanding for her own culture deepens as well....more
Rebecca
Seema has grown up in India, but now her family is moving to Iowa for at least two years for her father's job. It's a wrench to leave everything she's ever known and to try to adapt to a foreign (cold!) country. Will she ever find friends? Will she learn to speak English well enough to succeed? What will happen if she does, then they move back to India?

This was an inoffensive, gentle book about some successful immigrants to whom the worst thing that happens is a mean girl in school who pulls See...more
Meaghan
I wish this character had sounded more like a real twelve-year-old girl. All the kid characters in the story had this problem -- they all sounded much older than their ages, and they all sounded the same. I mean, what twelve-year-old says things like, "Inside our hearts we were feeling the warmth and light of a new friendship"? I think the story would have done better written in the third person.

That said, nine-to-twelves will enjoy this story of a girl transitioning between two cultures. In add...more
Ginger Stepp
The novel begins in India, with Seema and her family deciding to move to America, more specifically, Iowa. We are also introduced to Mutka, a young Indian girl whose family is struggling to makes ends meet. Seema is drawn to her and they strike up a friendship right before Seema and her family are to leave. In Iowa, Seema is met by Carrie and Jennifer who immediately become her best friends. Seema and her family go through the difficult task of assimilating into American life, but it is really S...more
Zach
I give it five stars keeping in mind the target audience--while I might see some flaws worth subtracting a star over as an adult, I think it would be too nitpicky to hold a book that, right in its inside flap, declares it to be written for ages 9-12 up to the same standard as a Rushdie or something. Overall, it was a very good book. The "culture shock" of switching from one culture to another was handled extremely well and sometimes humorously, like when 12-year-old protagonist Seema's father di...more
Devika
I absolutely loved this book. It was so real and really well written. I also love it because I am indian, so I can relate to it. All the things... I think this book is better than all the books I have read except for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, Divergent, and the Selection Series!
Sarah
Seema learns that her family is moving from India to Iowa City where her dad takes a job. She struggles leaving behind her familiar city, but also her close relationship with her cousin. The transition to Iowa City is at times awkward and difficult and Seema learns the significance of the meaning of home, especially after an emergency trip back to India. At times I thought that AN IMPORTANT LESSON was being taught and was both a little clunky and wrapped up too nicely, but the book overall was s...more
Andrea Carlin
An interesting look at the brave transition that an emigrating family (India-US) must endure to follow the father's intellectual passion. I struggled to finish but didn't want to be disloyal after all their hard work ;0
Tracy
This is a young adult novel about a girl who immigrates to the United States from India. All in all, it was a good read, but the author really missed some opportunites to delve into some of the deeper complexities adolscents face when they come here. She touched on a few, such as the realization that you can't ever really go back again (it's different, no matter what you tell yourself,) and the feeling of not belonging to either place. But she didn't explore these problems as completely as I wis...more
Danielle
Very good book. It made me think about people from other cultures coming here and the differences they feel.
kelly
Jun 16, 2008 kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: j fic - Paul Zindel First Novel Award
Recommended to kelly by: uri530
The library that sent this book classified it as YA.. I think I would have this as a solid juvenile. Why? because the ending is happy - the writing is more towards the juvenile end though there is some lovely poetic uses and phrases. This book contains quite a bit about upper middle class Indian life and the adjustments needed when immigrating to the US. I found Seema a mature main character. At times, she seemed more mature than most people around her. The side characters were not as well devel...more
Laura
Seema's transition from India to Iowa is not smooth, and I'd have been disappointed if it were. She's constantly being shaken in her responses to people, particularly who her friends really are and what a friend is. I also liked that the cultural differences matter to her (her recognition that the use of the swastika, which in India is a Sanskrit good luck symbol, might not be appropriate here in the US, for example). Living in a relatively diverse area of the US, I knew what she was talking abo...more
Carmen
I bought this book for the daughters of a friend who has come to the U.S. to do her PhD, thinking they would find a heroine they could identify with, and I think the book will do that. It was a gentle pleasant novel that once or twice made me tear up, as the adolescent narrator describes leaving her home in India when her father goes to carry out research at a university in Iowa. She struggles but eventually comes to love her new life and friends in the U.S. Although it is not exactly an adventu...more
Crystal
Leaving India for the United States is difficult for twelve-year-old Seema Trivedi because she lives in a very close-knit family situation. Her family is not fleeing her country, but is moving so her father can have a job that he enjoys. As Seema transitions to this new kind of life, we see the difficulties of learning a new language, making friends, and finding out how to still be yourself in a new place. We see some of Seema’s Indian culture, but mostly we see her as she learns about friendshi...more
Betty Lanz
Delightful book on friendship.
Supalka
i llloooovvvveeeddddd it so much!!!!!!!
Becky
Aug 30, 2008 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids in fourth grade and up
Touching story - good for grades 4 and up. Seema moves her her family from India to Iowa City. Beginning a new life in a new country along with a new school is difficult. Seema faces the challenges of meeting with new friends, learning a new language, and learning about a new culture. She begins to find out how it feels to be the odd girl out, and this realization leads her to regret some of the cruel treatment she gave to a schoolmate back in India. Will she have a chance to make things right a...more
Julie
Jun 17, 2011 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
This was just fine - a girl moves from India to Iowa with her immediate family, misses home, adjusts to life in a new country, and deals with a mean girl in her class. I was hoping for a little more depth and originality, and maybe something about Iowa City to set it apart from every town (since I've lived there, and it has lots of great things about it). I liked the sections set in India more than the parts in the U.S. Decent suggestion for upper-elementary multicultural assignments.
Amy
Dec 07, 2007 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids & teens
This author lives in Madison, so I had an opportunity to meet her and got this book. I read it in a few hours and thought it was really good! I couldn't believe this is her first book ever. It would make a perfect read-a-loud for a family or classroom. Kashmira's style is very poetic without forcing it, and her characters are real and likeable. It is also a good book for kids who are experiencing a move of their own, since they will relate to the struggle to adjust to a new home.
Rose
One of the best books I've read for kids in a while. The story follows 12 year old Seema from her home in India to her big move to a small town in Iowa City. It's a lovely story about this girl's sense of belonging, her discovery of a new world & how she learns to adapt to her new environment though still keeping her strong Indian roots & beliefs. How she learns to make friends & deal with bitter enemies is a good lesson for all ages. Big heart in a little book.
Susan
My daughter and I read this book. We read a chapter a night for 14 nights. I think the story is very well done and it is a great way to introduce the idea of cultural differences and similarities. I also think it is a great example of how friendships form.

The book is well written and while it is for tweens, I think it is written in such a way, with attention to language and plot, that adults will love it too.
Kathryn
My daughter and I met the author at Barnes and Noble. She signed our copy of the book. One nice touch she added is that she brings along a rubber stamp to all of her book signings and puts a blue flower next to her signature to represent Blue Jasmine. The story starts in India and moves to Iowa, much like the author did in real life. A very neat moral to the story--I'm glad my daughter read it as well.
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Kashmira Sheth grew up in Bhavangar, Gujarat, for eight years, when she was three she joined Montessori school. She lived with her grandparents, because her parents lived in Mumbai three hundred miles away from Bhavangar.
At eight years Sheth, left Bhavangar, for Mumbai.
She did her studying there until she was seventeen. She left Mumbai, to go to college, in Ames Iowa to do her BS at Iowa State Un...more
More about Kashmira Sheth...
Boys Without Names Keeping Corner Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet Tiger in My Soup My Dadima Wears a Sari

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