Customer Reviews: Jazmin's Notebook
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on April 8, 2000
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 sees what Harlem in the 1960's was like. In reading this book it is as if the reader is actually picking up someone's journal and taking a peek. Jazmin is young and still exploring her world. She does not have the hard bitterness that could be seen if an older person was writing this book, nor does is have the obliviousness that could be seen if a child was writing it. Jazmin's personality is portrayed through her journal, and the point of view of this story allows for the soul searching and revelations that only a journal could provide. Another major literary element of this book is the setting. The setting is told through Jazmin's commentary in her notebook. This commentary gives the reader a clear picture of what Harlem was like in the 1960's, or at least what it might have been like. Jazmin's descriptions of her surroundings are both matter-of-fact and accepting. The following description of a nearby bar gives the reader vivid mental imagery of what it is really like. "The bar & grill blasts rhythm and blues on the jukebox all hours of the night, while cocaine changes hands in dark corners, and pool-sharks in the back room beat amateurs out of a week's pay." page 6. The setting is developed throughout the book by descriptions like this and casual comments, until the reader is able to picture the tenement houses with their paper-thin walls and the rats that can sometimes be found creeping from openings in the floor and walls. The time is not developed as well as the place, but it is apparent in some places such as the drugs that are prevalent in some scenes and the clothing that is described.
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on January 30, 2002
The book Jazmin's notebook, is a book of courage and hope. I really enjoyed the book. This book is a book once you start reading, you can not put it down because you have so many questions. I suggest you to read this book! Its a good book for teens, although it might be a little bit confusing, but try to stay on task. Jazmine's name is spelled weird, her parents were debating on what the letters should be. She has an older sister named CeCe, who cares very much for her. CeCe is the only one really who cares for Jazmine all the time. Jazmine is upset that no one has pictures of her from when she was little, with strawberry icing, cake, on her face like other little kids. Her sister is the only one whob has pictures of her. Her mom is in the hospital, and her dad died, so hes no longer around. Jazmine has no perminent home. Shes always moving, weather it's apartment, or a relatives home. At one point in the story, jazmine lives with her sister, and Aunt Sarah, is over at the house. She is their neighbor. She actually is not there aunt, but they call her aunt because shes a very kind lady, and she cares a lot for them. Thata part of a review, and I am going to let you figure out the rest! I hope the description intrested you!!!
Here's a few question maybe that might help motivate you to read this book.
What happens to Jazmine? Will She be steered out of academics like the one girl wants her to? Does her mom ever get our of the hospital?
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on March 1, 2005
Jazmin is a fourteen year old African American girl living in New York in the 1960's whose father was killed in a car crash. Jazmin's mother became an alcoholic and couldn't raise Jazmin. Jazmin had to live with relatives or in foster homes her whole life. She moved from place to place and never lived in the same place for longer than one year. She wrote in a notebook to keep track of where she had lived and who she had met. She loved to write and dreamed about becoming a writer despite her past.

I think this is a good book for middle school aged girls or boys to read. It easy to read and you don't want to stop at the end of a chapter. It makes you think about what it would be like to not have parents to raise you. Jazmin is funny and tells stories about things that happened to her and how she felt about them. She can make bad things sound funny. This is the first book I have read by this author and it is very amazing to read.
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on March 10, 2004
As 14-year-old Jazmin Shelby sits on the stoop of her brownstone in 1960s Harlem, she can see the world pass her by, and she's not terribly impressed with the things she observes. Her community is plagued with hustlers, drug dealers, vagrants, and people who have lost touch with any type of reality outside of city life. Family life for Jazmin is not much better. Her mother is consumed by the demons of alcohol and is often "missing in action," going in and out of hospitals on all too frequent basis. Meanwhile, her father, whom she loved dearly, died recently in a car accident. Passed around from one place to another, Jazmin finally ends up with her older sister CeCe, and they both struggle to survive on their own. While the world around her appears bleak and full of despair, Jazmin does find solace in writing, and it is within the pages or her notebook that she fights to dream and laugh at the craziness that surrounds her. She keeps her sanity by ruminating on her frustrations about family, school, and the neighborhood she calls home. There is also hope, for Jazmin's notebook is also a place where she can safely tuck in the dreams she has for a better life. Spanning less than a year, Jazmin's story unfolds in chronological order and offers readers a realistic story of a young black girl who fervently attempts to cling onto dreams in the face of adversity.
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on November 3, 2015
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.
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on December 3, 2002
Jazmine is a 14-year old who lives with her sister, CeCe, in Harlem, NYC during the 1960's, where danger is everywhere. She's smart, strong, and talented with a poetic gift. Her mother is in the hospital for drug use, and they don't have enough money to buy food, but she fights through it all, and tries to find her purpose in life.
Jazmin's Notebook was not a very interesting book. It didn't catch my intrest at the begining. There are some parts that caught my interest because when she was smoking and almost got raped, I continued to read to see what happened next. Overall the book doesn't have the spark for today's youth to read and enjoy.
I would recommend this book to kids in the sixth and seventh grades. The literature is realitvy easy to read. This book is for entertainment, and to show how people who don't have much money live.
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on October 2, 2012
I have a nine-year-old daughter, and am reading books just ahead of her to see what she'd like. Stumbled across this one in a thrift store, and felt moved to come here to write about it, because it is just that good. I've read a great deal of teen fiction recently, including many Newberry winners, and this one stands with the best of them. The images of Jazmin's life as a 14-year-old black girl in New York are incredibly vivid. Each one has an emotional hook and a metaphorical message, along with stunning descriptive writing. Highly recommended.
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on October 30, 2003
No, not really. It was just a book of journal entries and poems.It was just about a girl surrounded by drugs,sex,alcohol,and gunfire in Harlem. She is a real optimistic person and takes life day by day. It was a rather boring book and there was no climax in it. I would not reccommend this book to anyone over the age of 12.
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on February 21, 2002
Jazmine is a girl that that lives with her sister in a broken down apartment in the city. Jazmine's mother is an alcoholic in rehab. Her father died in a car crash a few years ago. She is a smart girl that writes poems and things about her life in her notebook. The plot of the book seems interesting but the way it was written wasn't very good. I wouldn't recommend this book to teenagers. Jazmine's Notebook doesn't have any big events that take place, it gets boring because she basically says the same things over and over again. When you read the book her dad already is dead and her mom is already in rehab. The whole book is just about how she deals with it all. There isn't a big ending to look foward to like in most books. This book could have been better.
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on June 28, 2007
I am not much of a reader. I got this book for an airplane ride. I have read this book a million times since then.

THis book deals with some original themes (DIdn't I say I don't write love letters) and some usual themes (So I ain't no good girl). Some of the stories are happy and funny (Mookie in Love), some are serious and dark (I know a stupid boy when I see one).

This book has the ability to write about cheesy and done themes sounding fresh and modern, and never cheesy.

plz read this book!!

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