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Jasmine Skies Hardcover – September 1, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6–9—Fourteen-year-old Mira Levenson, born and raised in England, is about to meet her mother's family in India and experience a country very different from the one in which she grew up. She will stay with her mum's first cousin, Anjali, who has a daughter about the same age. The family lives in Kolkata (Calcutta), where Anjali runs a refuge for homeless children. Though the cousins have chatted via Facebook and Skype, the protagonist wonders if they'll get on well in person. Mira's narration successfully introduces the beauty and difficulties of Kolkata, offers glimpses of contemporary life in the subcontinent, and highlights the tension between the traditional and modern. Readers will likely recognize Mira's own conflicting emotions about love, religion, and loyalty. She struggles with her love for Jide, her best friend in London, and her developing feelings for 16-year-old Janu, a former street orphan who now works at the refuge. Mira also wonders why her mother and Anjali have kept their families apart. The girl's dreams and reality collide before she returns to London in a fast-paced, satisfying conclusion. Mira was first introduced in Mira in the Present (Albert Whitman, 2013), but Jasmine Skies can stand alone and provides an evocative look of living and loving two cultures.—Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library

Review

'I really wish Sita had been writing when I was growing up as this beautiful heartfelt book explores so eloquently the need to find your history in order to find yourself' Meera Syal 'Sometimes second books can be disappointing. This one most certainly isn't. In fact, I think it's even better than the first. Sita's skill lies in making her reader really feel that intimate tug and pull of family relationships as well as the confusing ups and downs of teenage love, and in this book she also shows us facets of India not often seen in children's books' Lucy Coates scribblecitycentral.blogspot.com Sita's debut novel, Artichoke Hearts, won the 2011 Waterstone's Children's Book Prize and has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal. It has also been shortlisted for the Redbridge Children's Book Award, the Berkshire Book Award, the Romantic Novel Award (young adult category), Peters Book of the Year, the Fabulous Awards for Books and the Ealing Readers Award. 'A thoughtful, tender and uplifting novel, which continues the story of Mira, now two years older, as she negotiates challenging new experiences, the complexities of family and friendship, and the uncertainty of teenage love' Booktrust 'It's like unpeeling the petals of a flower, smelling, touching, feeling - and yet with a fine thread of a plotline winding its way through, keeping the tension and making one want to read on and on to know what happens' Jamila Gavin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (September 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807537829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807537824
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,100,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
No matter how far away people live or travel from one another they remain connected to one another. Our past, our present and our future seem to fight against the idea that people should remain apart from one another to build a tiny more personal world with people like themselves. When Mira travels from America to India to visit her Indian relatives, she feels an immediate connection. She feels the keen desire to flow backward into the pasts of her loved ones who seem no longer close to one another. So she secretly takes a bundle of her mother's letters from a relative, Anjali., all the way to India with her.

Although she stays with her super energetic cousin, Priya, she feels an immediate moment by moment connection to Janu. He seems her soul mate. Janu seems more like the old India while Priya is definitely a part of modern India with her short, pink spiked hair and her lack of desire to wear a sari. Priya kept me grounded through the novel. Perhaps, she kept Mira grounded too. India has progressed while some areas remain the same: There are malls. There are zooming, speeding cars and there are teens like Priya who wear a long beautiful plait which is really a wig. Then, there are still the beautiful ancient temples. There is still the Goddess Kali with three eyes. It's all there, and it all was waiting each day for Mira to make a choice. Will I step into the old world or the new? By the way, you can Skype in India too which surprised me.

Too soon it's time for Mira to return to America. Of course, she doesn't feel she's seen everything or gotten as far as she desired in to the past secrets of her family. Someone says to her that perhaps it's not meant for us to finish everything but the lesson is to leave some things unfinished.
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