Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Sweet Summer: Growing up with and without My Dad
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on October 6, 2002
Once in a great while - about as often as Halley's Comet - a book comes along which stirs the soul and rattles your heart; a book which can transcend race, gender, age, place and time. This is such a book. Moore-Campbell is a magnificent writer; her verses poetic, her theme universal. Her autobiogrophy tells the story of growing up black and young without a full-time father, and the affects it can have on a child. It's not just her story; she shares this life with her cousin Michael (again, young and black without a full-time father), their Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, and assorted 'father figures': Dads, Uncles, Reverands, Neighbors. One child (BeBe) can learn to adapt graciously, while the other (Michael) has a tougher time, as they each learn difficult 'truths' about their patriarchy. Beautifully written, the reader hangs on every word, as this wonderful story unfolds.
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on August 21, 1998
I read this book years ago when it first came out and I thought it was a wonderful portrayal of a daughter's love for her father. In the wake of Terry McMillan's "male-bashing" novel, "Waiting to Exhale," this book reaffirmed what Black women and men have been saying for years: "There are good Black men." Campbell's father and circle of uncles reminds me of the men in my family when I was growing up. I hope we see more "Growing up..." books in novel form instead of McMillan's "can't find a man" genre.
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on May 18, 2009
I read Sweet Summer for my English class and to my surprise enjoyed reading the childhood story of Bebe Moore Campbell. Although some English books may become tedious this biography kept my attention all 255 pages. I think the most enjoyable part of the book was it was so easy to relate to. I understood her second home in South Carolina and why it was so special visiting there. I too have a place I love to visit because it holds memories and people I love. Also this book discussed powerful topics that anyone can either relate to or imagine what it may be like. For Campbell growing up as an African American child gave her many experiences that other children my not encounter. Reading this really made me think about how people from a different race or even society may be treated just because of where they come from. As this book discussed not only race it also brought up the kids that grow up without one of their parent figures. Campbell shows two different ways that growing up without a father or mother can transform a child. As I read about Bebe's cousin, Michael, and how he had a lot of trouble with growing up without a father I couldn't help but feel upset that just because of his bad experience with his father changed his life completely around. These powerful subjects really add to the story's depth and insight. Although this book can be for anyone I would recommend it for younger teens because it really explains the process of growing up and how influential a childhood can have on the rest of their lives. Campbell really did a great job explaining growing up and controversial subjects that many people can relate to.
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on December 16, 2007
Campbell does a fantastic job recounting her childhood memories of growing up in Philadelphia with her mother and grandmother and spending her summers in Elizabeth City, North Carolina with her father. As Campbell ages, she yearns to have her father and mother in a traditional living situation, but learns to cope with life as it is. She also learns things about her father's past that have a negative affect on their relationsip, but she soon figures out how to let the past be the past and love her father for the man that he is.

Having been raised in the south, the chapters about Campbell's North Carolina summers really struck a chord with me. Her paternal grandmother reminded me so much of my own - the passage about the chickens was dead on! Campbell also celebrates the other men in her life, her uncles and neighbors, and shares her warm and touching memories of these relationships.

A positive and uplifting story that shows just how influential and beneficial men are in young girl's lives. 4 stars!
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on February 14, 1998
Bebe, Bebe, Bebe......Moore Campbelll, her father's wonderful greeting. This is a great book, easily read and thought provoking content. Though I'm a man and grew up with both of my parents, Ms. Campbell was able to relate to me in her writing. It's clear, real, and a joy to read. In fact, I like all Ms. Campbell's books and can't wait for the next one. Hurry up, Bebe.!!!
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on September 11, 2008
I decided to try "Sweet Summer" in the midst of my sweet summer this year. I found the book in a bookstore in Nassau, Bahamas, and remembering her "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine" picked it up without hesitation.

What a great read. The woman had a fluid way of writing in a crystal-clear fashion. It is a book about family dynamics, a girl and her father, that girl and her mother, and aunts. As she reaches a new pinnacle, a new threshold, the reader is gently guided into the next chapter of that relationship. The characters are those who populate our lives, with their giftedness and foibles. Don't judge the book by the title, because Campbell was able to describe relationships with great depth.

She left us too soon, a few years ago, in the prime of life. I will keep on reading her work, though, because I love her clarity.
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on April 4, 2009
Told from the perspective of a young African-American girl as she grows to a young woman, "Sweet Summer" is a heart touching account of the universal progression of a child's understanding of her parents. From idealization to knowledge to anger to understanding, the young girl learns to see her parents as human, loving yet imperfect. Campbell's memoir is a beautiful depiction of what can be a painful process. For the non-African-American reader the book is an open window into the culture of the 1960's when the south and the north were dual homes for so many. Learning to live and thrive in such different environments was a necessity as well as a talent. In addition to the adult reader, I can also recommend the book for young white women needing to learn about themselves and others.
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on March 5, 1998
In Ms. Campbell's book, she took me back to my girlhood, when I grew up in North Carolina and spent my summers in Philadelphia, among "bosoms." She really reminded me of what it was like to be young, and travel, and be among family. This book was a flashback andd it will take *you* back, if you know what I mean :)
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on August 19, 2015
Bebe Campbell could write extremely well. It reminded me of my summers with my grandparents.
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on June 13, 2000
This is a wonderful book and I recommend it to any one out there living or growing up with and without a father.
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