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One Crazy Summer Paperback – December 27, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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★ “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))
★ “Regimented, responsible, strong-willed Delphine narrates in an unforgettable voice, but each of the sisters emerges as a distinct, memorable character, whose hard-won, tenuous connections with their mother build to an aching, triumphant conclusion.” (Booklist (starred review))
★ “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))
★ “Emotionally challenging and beautifully written, this book immerses readers in a time and place and raises difficult questions of cultural and ethnic identity and personal responsibility. With memorable characters (all three girls have engaging, strong voices) and a powerful story, this is a book well worth reading and rereading.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“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)
“In One Crazy Summer Williams-Garcia presents a child’s-eye view of the Black Panther movement within a powerful and affecting story of sisterhood and motherhood.” (Monica Edinger, The New York Times)
“One Crazy Summer absolutely blew me away. What an amazing and beautifully written story. This novel is just glorious.” (Jacqueline Woodson, author of the Newbery Honor Book After Tupac & D Foster)
From the Back Cover
Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, One Crazy Summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 in search of the mother who abandoned them. It's an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.
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During the summer of 1968 eleven year old Delphine and her two younger sisters fly from their father's home in Brooklyn to their mother's in Oakland, the same mother who abandoned the six years ago, the same mother who doesn't want them now. They attend a Black Panther camp and Delphine discovers the Panthers are so much more than the negative press from the media. With sometimes poignant irony, she learns to stand up for herself, to respect herself and to fight for what's right,
Although ONE CRAZY SUMMER is listed as a boon for middle graders, children, teens and adults will find things to savor from Delphine, her sisters and everyone they encounter. Rita Williams-Garcia doesn't sugarcoat the serious events, but tells the story through Delphine's serious, insightful mind. This would be a great read in English or History classes for older kids, because many of the issues are still topical. ONE CRAZY SUMMER is so good I want to read everything else Williams-Garcia has written.
Themes: sisters, family, emotional abuse/neglect, activism, prejudice, history, slanted media coverage
Regarding the mom: You want to hate her, but only an older child (and/or adult) will realize forgiveness is to love her. There are other roles and scenarios which also need further explanation throughout the book. Plus, the fact that the setting is in Summer 1968.
Some parts were complicated and difficult to explain to an 8 yr old, which is why I think older children would be a better audience.
Gave it 5 stars for expressing what abandonment might feel like to children, because not many authors describe it with as much uncategorized pain, confusion and eventual dissonance it tends to create for many.
I liked that the story honored the single father's role, as well as, the perspective of love and respect expressed by the CA friend in regard to his own father's role; regardless of dad being away. Father's play a big role in a child's life and not many author's give them credit for the positive influence.
The point of view of an 11year old was refreshing. True, some of the perceptions were adult like. But weren't we all a little adult like as tweens?
Looking foreword to reading book two.