African American children’s poet Nikki Grimes has tried her hand at prose with this short but sweet novel of 1960’s Harlem. Seen through the pages of 14 year old Jazmin’s journal, the neighborhood comes alive with Jazmin’s descriptions of her older sister CeCe, who’s too young to be so jaded, and Aunt Sarah, a neighbor who shows up with lots of steaming “leftovers” when money is tight for Jazmin and CeCe. Jazmin knows she’s going to be a real writer someday if she can just get past the school counselor who wants to keep her in vocational classes and the mother who abandoned her to foster homes and poverty. Told in a jazzy, lyrical voice, Jazmin’s Notebook just sings with Nikki Grimes’ poetical turn at prose. Make sure to jot down this title in YOUR notebook next time you’re looking for something good to read.