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Monsoon Summer Book Review

Monsoon Summer Book Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 5 Star Rating)

Jasmine Garder has a summer to remember in Mitali Perkins new novel, Monsoon Summer.

Author: Mitali Perkins

When you're a 15 year-old girl, life can be complicated and confusing, and for Jasmine (Jazz) Gardner, things are about to get even more hectic! After a year of taking Hindi lessons, practicing shot put and maintaining good grades, she has to pack up and leave the country. What she really wants to do is spend her summer running the postcard business she shares with her best friend (and secret crush), Steve. Read on to find out about Jazz's adventure!


Moving Time

When her parents decide to uproot the family from their Berkeley, California home and spend the summer in India, Jasmine is less than impressed. Her social activist mother wants to return to the orphanage that took care of her until she was adopted by an American couple. Her father, a computer programmer, and her bug-collecting, 10 year-old brother Eric are more than happy to go along for the ride.


Life in India

Upon arrival, Jazz feels out of place with her lighter coloring and bigger build and decides to attend school instead helping out at the orphanage. She becomes friends with three well-off Indian girls who are fascinated by American life and insist on taking her dancing (which she hates). Meanwhile, Eric becomes the orphanage soccer coach, their dad teaches the nuns how to use computers and her mom sets up a clinic for young women.


New Friends

When orphan Danita, also 15, begins cooking for the Gardners to earn money, Jazz is guarded. However, as they spend more time together, their friendship grows. Jazz realizes that she should spend her days at the orphanage, helping Danita develop a business plan for her collection of handmade clothing and accessories. In return, Danita teaches Jazz Kathak, an Indian dance. When Danita is offered a marriage proposal from an older man who promises to take care of her and her sisters, Jazz puts her heart into the business so that Danita won't have to marry him. Will her business be a success, or will she accept the proposal?


The Bottom Line

This is a touching story which deals with issues important to young girls such as self esteem and the quest for identity. It also deals with more general themes like culture, honesty, conquering one's fears, and selflessness. As an added bonus, there's a bit of love story that blossoms between Jazz and her BFF Steve!


Monsoon Summer Rating: 5


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    Monsoon poll

    What Is a Monsoon?

    • The type of earthquake which occurs in the Indian ocean.
    • A spicy, traditional Indian dish.
    • Heavy rains brought on by strong south Asian winds.
    • The Indian word for travel.

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    OwlCityGuy
    OwlCityGuy posted in Food:
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    snoopynwoodstock123
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She chirped sweetly, "It's nice to meet you!" HARUMI UYEDA SECONDARY BALLERINA A girl like Haru really isn't difficult to know about; she's an exceptional ballerina, and has made it to both national and international performances. Astounding, considering her young age- and how she appears far younger, too. "So! So!" She stood up on her tiptoes to look me in the eye. "Who are you?" "I-I'm Misaki Yami," I smiled nervously. "It's nice to m-meet you too, Haru." A giggle escaped Haru's lips as she skipped away to someone else who called her over, waving. I couldn't help but wave back, feeling slightly bad that we didn't get to talk any more. I moved along to someone else- a boy with dark hair wearing almost all-red. He smiled pretty quickly, and I managed to get out my introduction before he did. "My name's Misaki Yami," I flatly stated. "Who are you?" "Oh! I'm Rin. Rin Okumura," the boy grinned as he ran a hand through his hair. 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His food is of a pretty high standard, and though he doesn't work in big bakeries, he still has a reputable skill. "So, Misaki..." Kaze continued, "Do you... have your phone?" "I should..." I subconsciously felt around in my pocket, and... nothing. Where was it? Was it stolen? Panicking, I instinctively let out a dramatic "It's gone". "Oh, you too?" Kaze looked quite relieved. "I was so worried when I couldn't find mine... I just hope I get it back." "Me too... I really need it." I felt a little more relaxed to find out Kaze didn't have his, too. "Anyway, I should probably go... sorry." Saying a brief goodbye to Kaze, I turned on my heels toward the next person- a rather-pretty girl with long brown hair. "Before you go introducing yourself," the girl practically spat, "I'm not keen on talkative people." My eyes widened. She didn't seem like the nicest person, really, but... she might just be grumpy over what happened, if what Rin said is true. 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"I'm Lauren Moon. Hope we can get along!" LAUREN MOON SECONDARY MYTHOLOGY RESEARCHER I'm not too big on history stuff, but apparantly Lauren Moon is one of the big names in that crowd. She knows everything there is to know about mythology, whether it's about ancient Greeks or ancient Egyptians. I soon noticed that Lauren was whispering to... herself? No- she was whispering to that pyramid necklace she was wearing. "Uhh... Lauren?" I questioned, "I hope you don't mind me asking, but... why are you talking to... a necklace?" "Necklace?!" Lauren appeared flustered. "This isn't a necklace, this is the Millenium Puzzle! I can communicate with Atem through it." That... sounded strangely familiar. Where had I heard that before? Again, after a few more questions, I moved away from Lauren. Well, that was the first group done... now onto the second. Who will I meet there?
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    1PhanTrash
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    Water
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    SoccerSuperStar02
    SoccerSuperStar02 posted in Food:
    I drink water more than soda drink.
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    1PhanTrash
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    DW fan - they love screaming companions.
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