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Gone Crazy in Alabama Hardcover – April 21, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—In this final volume in the trilogy that began with the acclaimed One Crazy Summer (2010), and continued with P.S. Be Eleven (2013, both HarperCollins), sisters Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern Gaither have been sent for the summer from Brooklyn to rural Alabama to reunite with their grandmother, Big Ma; their great-grandmother, Ma Charles; and their Uncle Darnell, a Vietnam vet recovering from drug addiction. Caught in the middle of a family feud between Ma Charles and her half-sister, Miss Trotter, the girls grapple with mixed feelings and new revelations about their family and its history. Narrator Delphine, 12, is charged with keeping her sisters in line and keeping the peace amidst their constant bickering, as well as readjusting to Big Ma's discipline. When Vonetta disappears during a tornado, Delphine must confront her guilt and resentment as well as face her mother, Cecile, who has traveled from California in concern for her missing daughter. Much of the narrative includes backstory from the previous titles, which is important for context, though new readers will want to read the previous books to fully appreciate this novel. This final installment is rich in atmosphere and clearly conveys the sisters' distinct personalities, their loyalty to one another, and their special place in their complex family. An author's note elucidates the connection between Native and African Americans, and a family tree details the Gaither girls' roots. VERDICT A must-have conclusion to this beloved middle grade series.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
“This well-crafted depiction of a close-knit community in rural Alabama works beautifully, with language that captures its humor, sorrow and resilience. Rich in all areas, Delphine and her sisters’ third outing will fully satisfy the many fans of their first two.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Williams-Garcia’s novel has the feeling of a saga, an American story of several generations, related effectively from Delphine’s first-person point of view-and with help from some feisty elders.” (Horn Book Magazine)
A must-have conclusion to this beloved middle grade series. (School Library Journal (starred review))
“it’s reward enough just to spend more time with this feisty, close-knit family, whose loyalty to and love for each other trump everything else. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
Praise for P.S. BE ELEVEN: “Funny, wise, poignant, and thought-provoking, this will leave readers wanting more about Delphine and her sisters.” (Horn Book (starred review))
Praise for P.S. BE ELEVEN: “..the Gaither sisters are an irresistible trio. Williams-Garcia excels at conveying defining moments of American society from their point of view—this is historical fiction that’s as full of heart as it is of heartbreak.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
Praise for P.S. BE ELEVEN: “P.S. Be Eleven is a must-read for fans of the first book, but it can also stand alone as an engrossing novel that will leave readers pondering important issues of race, gender, and identity.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
PRAISE FOR ONE CRAZY SUMMER: “Delphine is the pitch-perfect older sister, wise beyond her years, an expert at handling her siblings...while the girls are caught up in the difficulties of adults, their resilience is celebrated and energetically told with writing that snaps off the page” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
PRAISE FOR ONE CRAZY SUMMER: “The setting and time period are as vividly realized as the characters, and readers will want to know more about Delphine and her sisters after they return to Brooklyn...” (Horn Book (starred review))
PRAISE FOR ONE CRAZY SUMMER: “Delphine’s growing awareness of injustice on a personal and universal level is smoothly woven into the story in poetic language that will stimulate and move readers.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Top customer reviews
Delphine and her younger sisters are in Alabama for the summer visiting their grandmother and great-grandmother where they experience multigenerational sibling rivalry, the KKK, family secrets and a tragedy in this last book in the trilogy.
Rita Williams-Garcia series about Delphine Gaither and her sisters is the Little House on the Prairie for the twentieth century. Williams-Garcia has given Delphine a smart, insightful voice and equally compelling personality. Younger sisters Vonetta and Fern, and all the minor characters are multidimensional and complex.
Williams-Garcia crafted a story with subplots as interesting and rich as the history they describe. While GONE CRAZY IN ALABAMA drags a bit in the middle, for the most part my interest didn't waiver.
Both children and adults should start with ONE CRAZY SUMMER, then read PS BE ELEVEN and finish the series with GONE CRAZY IN ALABAMA. Then cross your fingers and hope Williams-Garcia decides to continue the series.
Most recent customer reviews
Young Readers❗️As an Adult with no young children I have no need for this