Monsoon Summer

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Jasmine "Jazz" Gardner heads off to India during the monsoon season. The family trip is her mother's doing: Mrs. Gardner wants to volunteer at the orphanage that cared for her when she was young. But going to India isn't Jazz's idea of a great summer vacation. She wants no part of her mother's do-gooder endeavors. What's more, Jazz is heartsick. She's leaving the business she and her best friend, Steve Morales, startedas well as Steve himself. Jazz is crazy in love with the guy. If only he knew! Only when Jazz reluctantly befriends Danita, a girl who cooks for her family, and who faces a tough dilemma, does Jazz begin to see how she can make a differenceto her own family, to Danita, to the children at the orphanage, even to Steve. As India claims Jazz, the monsoon works its madnessandits magic.
Curriculet Details
53 Questions
62 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in eighth grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining cultural and geographic references and asking students to make connections with the text. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about figurative language and literary elements. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of theme, characterization, and diction. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Notice the details about setting we're given right away. See the map below for Berkeley's location. (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted phrase is an example of a type of figurative language called personification. Watch the video below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does the narrator call falling in love "terrible"? 
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Is there a word on this page you need to look up?  


What mood is created by having the narrator use expressions like the one highlighted? 
The fact that Steve doesn't know that Jasmine has romantic feelings for him but the audience does creates these situations of dramatic irony. Watch the video below for more information, and keep your eye open for other examples as you continue reading. (This annotation contains a video)
The fact that Jasmine takes the time to donate money to street musicians shows that she is 


The highlighted phrase is an example of an idiom, which is a figure of speech where the meaning of the individual words is different from the meaning of the expression as a whole. Miriam is not actually drawing eyes with a paper and a pencil. In this case, the expression means that she's attracting a lot of attention. 
This novel is full of examples of Jasmine trying to figure out who she really is, what type of person she wants to be, and how she perceives herself. Make note of future examples of this quest for identity as you continue reading. 
List three things Miriam does to try to make Steve attracted to her. 


The highlighted phrase is an example of a type of figurative language known as a simile. Watch the video below to find out more about similes and their close cousin, metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
Why doesn't Jasmine's family own a house or a car? 
This is an example of an important theme in the novel, the importance of family sticking together. Make note of other examples of this theme as you continue reading. 
The highlighted phrase is an example of what type of figurative language? 
Notice how Mr. Gardner might have his own reasons for going to India for the summer. 


The highlighted passage, where the reader knows what kind of send off Jasmine is hoping for and sees it get humorously interrupted by Eric, is an example of 
Here we also see some clues about what Mrs. Gardner plans to do with her time in India. When an author gives hints about future events, that is called foreshadowing. Watch the video below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)


How is Mrs. Gardner's reaction to the long trip different from the rest of her family? 
The map below shows Mumbai, where the family has arrived, and the city of Pune, their final destination. (This annotation contains an image)
In summers, when the center and north of India becomes very hot, winds (monsoons) from over the Indian Ocean blow towards this hot region (see image below). On their way these winds absorb a lot of water from the Indian Ocean. Now imagine this wind carrying infinite number of tiny water balloons with it. Soon this wind reaches the southern tip of India where it hits the mountains. What happens when water balloons hit a hard surface? They burst into a splash of water! That is exactly what happens when the water laden wind hits the Indian mountains. The infinite tiny water balloons burst, releasing water and resulting in rains. (This annotation contains an image)
Why would seeing the girl along the train tracks cause Jasmine to think it would be tough to survive the summer? 


The image below shows this traditional greeting. In Hindu "namaste" means "I bow to the divine in you." (This annotation contains an image)
India used to be under British colonial rule. Their education system is a remnant of those days, with most university classes being taught in English. This means that those with education in India usually speak with British accents. 
What silime is used to describe Sister Das' driving? 
What do you think Mrs. Gardner is hoping to find in the files? 
The highlighted phrase is an example of what type of figurative language? 
To heat a container of water, people would plug in a tool like the one pictured below, place the rod in the water, and wait for the heated rod to warm the water up.  (This annotation contains an image)


The image below is of an auto-rickshaw. They are popular in many countries because they are an inexpensive form of transportation. (This annotation contains an image)
Jasmine is the only family member not working at the orphanage this summer. This goes against the theme of 
Do you think Jasmine's father stays in the rickshaw on purpose, so he doesn't get stared at? 
Jasmine is so against helping at the orphanage because 
Below is an image of a salwar kameez outfit. (This annotation contains an image)


We've seen many examples of the classic theme of unrequited love so far in the story. This means that one character has romantic feelings for another character, who doesn't necessarily feel the same way in return. Make note of other times you see this classic theme. 
The highlighted dialogue shows the reader that Jasmine is 
What similarities and differences do you see between Jasmine's thoughts about letter writing and the story of Cyrano? 
Read the brief plot summaries of the story of Cyrano de Bergerac at the link below, then answer the following question. (This annotation contains a link)
"Market rate" for goods or services is the usual price charged for them in a free market. If demand goes up, manufacturers and laborers will tend to respond by increasing the price they require, thus setting a higher market rate. When demand falls, market rates also tend to fall. 
A dowry is the payment in cash or some kind of gifts given to a bridegroom's family along with the bride. Generally, they include cash, jewelry, electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils and other household items that help the newlywed set up her home. The dowry system is thought to put great financial burden on the bride's family. It has been cited as one of the reasons for families and women in India resorting to sex selection in favor of sons. The payment of a dowry is prohibited under the 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act. 


Who is the maidservant to which the clerk is referring? Why would he think Jasmine's mother is a servant? 
List three examples of how Jasmine has been treated differently than her mother during the shopping trip. 
Properly draping a sari takes some practice, as you can see from the video demonstration below. (This annotation contains a video)
Mr. Gardner's body language tells us that he is 


What type of figurative language is used to describe Rini's braids? 
Do you agree with Mrs. Gardner's reasoning for not getting a television? 


The highlighted phrase is an example of the theme of 
Why does Jasmine speak "curtly" to Danita? 
Notice how Jasmine is finally acknowledging a reason for her desire to avoid helping anyone. 
The author uses a simile to describe 
Part One 
To whom is Jasmine speaking, if not to the birds? 


Do you think you would like that type of schooling? 
The highlighted phrase is an example of the theme of 


Poori is a fried Indian flatbread, pictured below. (This annotation contains an image)
List two examples of the theme of family sticking together that Danita shares in her conversation. 
Notice how Jasmine's family is changing around her. Have you seen any changes in Jasmine? 
Why doesn't Jasmine want to go shopping with her mom? 


Bollywood is the nickname of the Hindi language film industry, based in Mumbai India. Bollywood is one of the largest film producers in India and one of the largest centers of film production in the world. 
Why can't Jasmine believe that the girls mean it when they call her "beautiful" and "gorgeous"? 
Do you think Steve really doesn't know that girls find him attractive? 


Why might Danita be reacting the way she is to Jasmine sharing that she runs a business? 
The highlighted phrase is an example of  
The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool in 1960. With John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the greatest and most influential act of the rock era.  (This annotation contains an image)
What evidence is there that Eric is changing during his time in India? 
What caste was Mrs. Gardner's family probably in? 


What do you think Jasmine's dream means? 
Why doesn't Jasmine want to be alone with Danita? 
Why might Jasmine feel so sad about not helping Danita? 


Jasmine trying on a new persona is an example of which theme? 
For how much longer do you think Jasmine will be able to maintain her avoidance of helping people? 


How was Jasmine planning to finish her sentence? 
Notice how Jasmine is trying to make Steve jealous by implying that she'd been popular at the disco. 


What does the highlighted conversation reveal about Jasmine's inner self? 
Is Jasmine's heart literally smaller than it used to be? No, this is an example of a figurative expression. It means that she's acting less generous and caring, like Dr. Seuss' the Grinch below, who had a heart "two sizes too small." (This annotation contains an image)
How has Jasmine's self-perception changed since the start of the novel? 


Notice how the author creates suspense by not revealing why Danita wants Jasmine's advice. 
How does Danita help Jasmine in her quest to determine her identity? 


Notice that one reason Jasmine was reluctant to visit the orphanage was because she was afraid the conditions would be poor or depressing, and she probably didn't want to envision her mother living like that. 
Pac-Man is a video game released in 1980, where players would navigate a chomping yellow shape (pictured below) around a maze to try to eat multi-colored ghosts. Google even created a Google Doodle with a Pac-Man theme in 2010. (This annotation contains an image)
How is Danita's family similar to Jasmine's? 


Here we see how Jasmine has found an opportunity to help that fits her, as her father did. 
Danita gets the fabric and supplies to create her designs from  


Notice how the time has skipped ahead to the next morning. 
Do you wonder how Danita got to be such a good cook growing up in an orphanage? 
What does the highlighted passage tell you about Danita? 
Part Two 


This is a pivotal realization for Jasmine in her search for her identity. 
Why is Danita disheartened by the idea of starting her own business? 
Would you marry someone twice your age if it would keep your family together? 


Why does Jasmine encourage Maya to touch things? 
The video below is an example of a Bollywood production of a Kathak dance. Can you figure out what story the dance is telling? (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Danita willing to accept the marriage proposal? 


Notice how Jasmine's new self-perception makes it easier for her to function in Indian culture. 
The highlighted phrase is an example of what type of figurative language? 
What do you think Steve might do if Jasmine doesn't tell him the truth? 


How does this paragraph illustrate the theme of "quest for identity"? 
List two details that prove how well Steve knows Jasmine. 
Why do Ria and Ranee not know what a date is? 
What finally prompts Jasmine to tell Steve how she feels about him? 


Below is an image of a typical marketplace in India. Notice the vibrant colors in the crowd. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jasmine call this woman "Auntie"? 


Did you foresee this happening? 
The highlighted phrase is an example of what type of figurative language? 


Notice how Danita does not understand the American idiom "nuts," meaning crazy. 
Of whom are Jasmine and her mother speaking? 


Samosas are little fried triangles of dough stuffed with meat or a mix of potatoes and vegetables. They are often served with a mint or fruit sauce. (This annotation contains an image)
From who does this money come? 


Hotels are often given ratings from one to five stars based on the level of luxury they provide. Food services, entertainment, view, room variations such as size and additional amenities, spas and fitness centers, ease of access and location may be considered in the evaluation. 
How does Steve help Jasmine change her self-perception? 
Watch the video below to see and hear this famous love song. (This annotation contains a video)


Why does Jasmine think the benefit would be a good place for Danita to show her designs for the first time? 
Notice how Jasmine's moment-by-moment description of her reactions helps to create suspense and humor in this climactic scene. 
The highlighted phrase is an example of a type of figurative language called hyperbole. Watch the video below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)


Henna tattoos, though temporary, can be very intricate. See the image below for an example. (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted phrase is an example of what type of figurative language? 
Jasmine has undergone quite the transformation during her monsoon summer. Do you think Mrs. Gardner was hoping the experience in India would change her family? 
If you enjoyed this novel, check out the author's website to learn more about her and her other books.  (This annotation contains a link)
Part Three 
The last sentence has a meaning beyond the literal idea of bottling rainwater. What else does Jasmine mean?