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Jazmin's Notebook

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Jazmin Shelby was "born with clenched fists"-which is okay, since she's got a lot of fighting ahead of her. Her dad died a couple of years back, and now that her mom's in the hospital, it's just her and her big sister, CeCe. But that's fine by Jazmin. She's got her friends, her school, lots of big plans for the future-and a zest for life and laughter that's impossible to r ...more
Paperback, 102 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Puffin Books (first published June 1st 1998)
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Jaylen Reese
Dec 04, 2013 Jaylen Reese rated it really liked it
Jazzmin is a young poet who loves to write. She is a very young girl who has faced many adversities in life. She had to live with her sister because he mother couldn't take care of her or even her own self and her father passed away. She uses a notebook as a getaway from the world. Her poems are an expressing how it is to be a girl of color in her the 60's.

This book was very entertaining. Not only did it provide history, but it used the art of poetry in it as well. The poems were really good and
...more
Bonnie
Grimes, Nikki. Jazmin's Notebook. New York: Dial, 1998. Print.:
Summary: This is an inspirational story of a teen growing up in Harlem in the 1960 19s. Jazmin is a 14 year old girl. Her father has died and her mother is an alcoholic who is not able to take care of her. She lives with her older sister, CeCe, who takes care of her and protects her. Jazmin is a writer. She will write on any piece of paper she can find. Each chapter in Jazmin 19s Notebook begins with a poem. Jazmin is driven to avoid
...more
Isabel
Drugs, sex, violence, alcoholism, death, abandonment, racism. All of that. And yet…

A self-aware, realistic girl just going through her life and making sense of the things everyone deals with. Who writes poetry. Beautiful poetry. (And generally, I don't like poetry.)

What I love about this book is that it takes sensational issues and puts them in a real-life perspective. No one's life is changed by One Dramatic Incident. Instead, it is a collection of struggles that are as familiar as the air Jazm
...more
Sara
Feb 01, 2016 Sara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1998
Just beautifully, beautifully written.
Yani
Mar 29, 2016 Yani added it
Jazmin's notebook it's was one of my favourite books to read.
It's very simple and anyone at any age can read it and not only read it but also enjoy reading it.
The vocals are very simple to understand and some might even be able to relate like I did to myself ; I used to have my own notebook and write things down or even stories but I was always too shy to share it with anyone because I thought it wasn't good enough for people to read it. Just like jasmine felt she didn't think her notebook wasn
...more
Angel Miyah
Nov 11, 2011 Angel Miyah rated it really liked it
November 11, 2011
Title: Jazmin's Notebook
Author: Nikki Grimes
Genre: Realistic Fiction and Poetry
Jazmin. A common name but with a twist. Her father made it special by using the z. Funny how something so small as a letter change can be so crucial to someone's inner-being. A unique name for a unique girl. By actually putting the word jazz in her name part of her father is being lived out by her, she takes him everywhere. And is it any wonder that she uses poetry as an outlet? Of course now when yo
...more
Hattie
Aug 08, 2010 Hattie rated it it was amazing
Jazmin's Notebook by Nikki Grimes
This book is very special. I love to read the diaries and notebooks of people. "Jazmin's Notebook" is really interesting. She doesn't just write about jumping Double Dutch, braiding a friend's hair or going window shopping. Jazmin writes about what really bothers her and what she wishes were different in her life. Jazmin lives in New York with her sister, CeCe. I liked reading about the bond between the two sisters. CeCe becomes a mother to Jazmin although there
...more
Carol Baldwin
Covering the course of a year for Jazmin, this book is full of vignettes which capture her life as a fourteen-year-old in Harlem in the 60's. As always, Grimes is a masterful image maker and the poetry that is sprinkled throughout this book is lovely. I would have liked to see more of a plot in this book, but found it to be an enjoyable read. The book is shorter than most YA books, so might be good for reluctant readers between 12-16.
Andrew Foster
Mar 27, 2012 Andrew Foster rated it really liked it
Grade Level: 9th to 12th

This book is written as a journal with almost each chapter beginning in a poem. This book is labeled as a book in verse. the main character, Jazmin, relates her life through a year of journal entries, from stories about her dad's death, her mother alcoholism, and the drugs and crime that run rampant through her neighborhood. It is a shockingly honest account, leaving out no details but peppering the stories with personal insight.

This book, directed at the high school age
...more
Sophia Miranda
I loved this book so much! It always kept me interested and wanting to read more. Jasmine literally had to dodge bullets from a drive-by shooting and always had to be wary of the drug addicts and other shady characters who lived in the area. Amazing book!
Erin Schyck
Feb 24, 2016 Erin Schyck rated it really liked it
The best part about this quick read (which I am considering offering as a choice for our memoir unit) is that some chapter begin with poetry. If my students would try that technique with their own personal narratives, my heart might explode.
Monica
Jazmin, an African American teenager who lives with her older sister in a small Harlem apartment in the 1960s, finds strength in writing poetry and keeping a record of the events in her sometimes difficult life.
Two of the major literary elements in this book are the point of view and the setting. The point of view of this book is first person. The book is actually Jazmin's journal, so the entire novel is told through Jazmin's perspective. Through the eyes of this 14-year-old girl the reader see
...more
Chris
Dec 31, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
This book somehow followed me from my classroom in Morrisania all the way here without me ever having read it, but I fixed that in about 3 hours.
For a young adult book, it was pretty good, if a little corny. I remember the idea when I got it was to use it as an example of what a good journal can look like (as suggested by the District 85 English guide, which I often otherwise disregarded). It works that way. It also, at least for a junior high crowd, acts as a sort of balm for common problems fo
...more
Brianne
Jun 03, 2013 Brianne rated it liked it
This book is ok not really what I like to read though. It's about a young girl whose Dad gets killed in a car wreck, her mom gets put in a mental hospital. Her sister Cece has to take care of her. They don't have much money they move a lot. Jazmin feels out of place a lot she don't want to wear glasses she changes the way she dresses. She likes to write poetry and sit outside so she can watch the neighborhood. She never really sees her mom much because she don't like hospitals until the end of t ...more
Amber Elder
Sep 30, 2011 Amber Elder rated it really liked it
Jazmin's Notebook was a very goo, interesting book. It is about a girl named Jazmin who feels that she is not noticed and nobody cares. Her father died when she was young from cancer and she is still suffering from the loss. All Jazmin want's to do is fit in with the crowd. She lives with her older sister that doesn't have a lot of money to buy her clothes and items that she wants. Jazmin then learns that she has to just except what she has and keep on believing and one day she will live her dre ...more
Manny
Sep 23, 2015 Manny rated it it was amazing
I want to read this book
Nicki
Jul 15, 2015 Nicki rated it liked it
3.5 actually.
Ms. Isreal
A book by Grimes that combines poetry with a novel. I like this text for both struggling and advanced readers. The topics are deep and untypical for children's literature: orphans - non-tradional families, charity and coming-of-age. I like the frankness of Jazmin and how Grimes doesn't just brutally describe what happens in the text but allows you to infer based on what Jazmin says and composes in her diary.
Sarah Zimmer
Apr 26, 2012 Sarah Zimmer rated it liked it
Written in diary form, this book is told by Jazmin, a young African American girl living in a bad part of town. Her father died years ago and her mother is hardly ever home, leaving her in the care of her sister, CeCe. She talks about the positives and negatives of her life and what she aspires to be when she grows up. This is a great book for children to read to see another point of view of a different life.
beck
Feb 26, 2010 beck rated it it was ok
not quite as gripping as, say, Bronx Masquerade...i think it's that the one voice isn't strong enough to carry the whole book on her own...kinda like Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey.

i'd love to find some journal-style books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower that are a little less edgy (for middle schoolers) but aren't quite as boring as these i'm finding...any suggestions?
Donn Lambert-knox
this book is about this girl named jazmine who is growin up in harlem new york with her sister. she been in every foster home you could amagin in new york city but her and sister have potlucks to raise money to pay the bills. jazmine's mom in the hospital but she afraid to see her. this book was really good and it moved me.
Zara
Sep 07, 2008 Zara rated it liked it
Nikki Grimes did a great job writing as if it was really only a journal, yet still making everything clear for the reader. Jazmin's story was touching, but unfortunately forgettable. I didn't like it nearly as much as Bronx Masquerade.
Jamie
Nov 25, 2015 Jamie rated it really liked it
Jazmin's Notebook was a good, short read. I love that it got the Coretta Scott King Award. It really deserved it. The story was terrific. My favorite character was CeCe. She was always there for Jazmin. I'd give it five stars.
Teeyanna
Mar 10, 2010 Teeyanna rated it really liked it
This was a great book. It was filled with amazing details, and the writing was astonishing. Have I ever read a book similar to this one? Yes and no. I've never read any of Nikki Grimes books but I have heard of her.
Kat
Nov 23, 2011 Kat rated it liked it
I read this book in high school. There were very few black female teenage books in my school's library. This was probably the only one. I loved this book. It was like the black version of Harriet the Spy.
Anna
Meh. Just okay.

If you want to read a good Nikki Grimes' book then read Bronx Masquerade instead.
Tanya Windham
May 22, 2011 Tanya Windham rated it really liked it
One girl's view of life in Harlem during the 60s. Jazmin refuses to let the difficulties of her life keep her from dreaming and pursuing a better lift. I loved the writing style!
Ms. Warchol
Jul 05, 2009 Ms. Warchol rated it did not like it
I really thought I was going to like this book. There just wasn't enough of a story for me to grab hold of and I didn't really care about the characters.
Sue
Dec 30, 2012 Sue added it
Shelves: fiction, adolescent
Adolescent literacy - good for middle school. Protagonist is 12 year old Af. Am. girl living with sister. Tone is upbeat and hopeful.
Danneylle Thomas
The book was interesting. There's a lot of good parts and it shows how a young girl in Harlem lives. Its definitely worth reading.
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