written by Nikki Grimes
Dial Books for Young Readers, 1998
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From the Book
Nightly bullet ricochets
remind me/that Death plays
Some consider it/a losing game.
But I clutch hope’s tail/ and hold on tight.
For life, though tough at times/ is dear.
from Jazmin’s Notebook
© 1998 by Nikki Grimes
Awards and Recognition
- 2003 YALSAPopular Paperbacks for Young Adults
- Coretta Scott King Award Honor
- A Booklist Editor’s Choice
- Bank Street College Book of the Year
- New York Library Book for the Teen Age
- ABA-CBC Books Mean Business
- South Carolina Young Adult Book Award
- Pennsylvania State Reading List
- California Readers California Collection — middle schools list
Grimes’s exciting and fast-paced book challenges readers to look at life in the 1960’s as it was (and probably still is) for an adolescent black girl. Jazmin’s intelligence is apparent and her thirst for knowledge is real; however … she must overcome her environment and the prejudices that surround her. Adolescents will readily relate to the problems that Jazmin, like all teens, must face. Because of Jazmin’s writing and determination to succeed…readers are left with a sense of hope…This novel is a must-read book for adolescents and for those…who may have forgotten what adolescence is all about—coming into our own. (VOYA)
With exuberance, passion, perception, and wit, 14-year-old Jazmin Shelby fills her notebook with glimpses of her life, neighborhood, family, and dreams…Her lyrical journal is a treasure of sensory observations, intellectual questioning, and moral decision-making. Secondary readers will delight in her candor and imagination. Her gritty determination to survive and succeed is inspiring and heartwarming. (School Library Journal, starred review)