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One Crazy Summer Library Binding – January 26, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Eleven going on twelve Delphine has always kept a sharp eye on her little nine and seven-year-old sisters Vonetta and Fern. That's because their mother left them seven years ago and never came back again. "Cecile Johnson - mammal birth giver, alive, an abandoner - is our mother. A statement of fact." So when their father packs them on a plane and sends them to Oakland, California to see Cecile, their mom, the girls have no idea what to expect. Certainly they didn't think she'd just leave them in a kind of daycare over the summer run by members of the Black Panthers. And they probably didn't expect that their mother would want near to nothing to do with them, save the occasional meal and admonishment to keep out of her kitchen.Read more ›
In the summer of 1968, eleven year old Delphine and her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, take a plane from Brooklyn to visit their mother Cecile in Oakland, California. Her father and Big Ma don't exactly approve of crazy Cecile, but keeping the children from their mother forever is not the solution either. As every good sister does, Delphine takes care of her younger sisters, especially now on this new journey and under instructions from her family to do so. Cecile isn't exactly a fairy tale mother. Rather than cook homemade meals, she gives them money to buy Chinese take-out. Cecile's kitchen is off limits. Strange men in Afros and black berets knock on her door demanding her assistance. Cecile sends her three daughters to a summer camp headed by the revolutionary Black Panthers. Delphine's summer in Oakland isn't exactly the kind of experience her teachers back home would expect in a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essay!
In ONE CRAZY SUMMER, readers see the historical changes through the eyes of Delphine. With humor, honesty, and innocence, Delphine comments on the events unfolding before her in the way only a child can. Delphine is quite conscious of the differences between blacks and whites in society, yet she is also a girl who responds from her heart rather than from slogans or mandates from others.Read more ›
It's 1968 and Delphine and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, are being sent to California to visit the mother that abandoned them soon after Fern was born. The girls have grand ideas about a mother who will hug them and take them to Disneyland.
Instead, their mother, Cecile, doesn't want anything to do with them, cares more about her poetry, and sends them for Chinese take-out every night. She's more concerned about her work and sends the girls to a Blank Panther-run summer camp during the day. The girls learn about revolution and family in a summer they will never forget.
It's hard to express how wonderful this book is and how much I adored it. I was pretty sure I would enjoy it, since I had been hearing a positive buzz. But I was completely unprepared for how much this book would pull me in and not let go. I couldn't put it down.
This is a quiet book. It's not an action filled book, and there wasn't any suspense that made me keep turning pages. It was just the beautifully written story of three sisters discovering their mother and themselves. There was just something about it that really resonated with me as a reader and I had to keep reading this one; I couldn't stop.
The writing is superb. This is a middle grade novel, but the author never writes down to her audience, and the characters are beautifully realistic and the dynamics between the sisters is spot-on. I loved Delphine - I think she's one of my new favorite characters in children's lit. In many ways, she is wise beyond her years, being the oldest sister and having to care for her younger sisters and mediating their quarrels. But she's also a child herself, and she lets herself finally be a child during this summer.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this story. It was unusual and had a nice story line.Published 19 hours ago by Lynnette662u
I loved this book it was an easy read and I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters and the storyline. This book us for young and old to enjoy. Hats off to the author.Published 23 hours ago by DBoston
I was actually...really surprised on where this went. The Gaither sisters are three girls, sent off for the summer to get to know their mother in Oakland, CA. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Dione Basseri
I am a conservative woman who chose to read this book as I am looking for books to recommend to my kids. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Coppermom
Beautiful book...with painful insight. Everyone should read it and put themselves in the place of every man, woman, and child who have been outsiders in any circumstance.Published 23 days ago by Mamasmith3
Utterly charming. I finished in one sitting. The distinctive personalities, the touching on issues, the writing felt like a skipping stone: glancing over all of this depth. Read morePublished 28 days ago by D. Boyd
I loved this book so much! The three sisters were so true to life and heartbreakingly real. And I loved the historical setting.Published 28 days ago by Janet G