Jazmin's Notebook

writ­ten by Nik­ki Grimes
Dial Books for Young Read­ers, 1998

Buy this book:

Jazmin’s Notebook

From the Book

Night­ly bul­let ric­o­chets
remind me/that Death plays
hide-and-seek/round here.
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)