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One Crazy Summer
Cover of One Crazy Summer
One Crazy Summer
One Crazy Summer Series, Book 1
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Eleven-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters Vonetta and Fern travel to Oakland to meet their mother, Cecile, who abandoned their family years earlier. But even when Cecile gets them to her house,...
Eleven-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters Vonetta and Fern travel to Oakland to meet their mother, Cecile, who abandoned their family years earlier. But even when Cecile gets them to her house,...
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  • Eleven-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters Vonetta and Fern travel to Oakland to meet their mother, Cecile, who abandoned their family years earlier. But even when Cecile gets them to her house, she shows no interest and seems to view them as nothing but a nuisance. Cecile's cold, unloving attitude leaves the girls wishing for the mother-daughter connection they've never had. But Cecile acts remarkably different after she sees her daughters at the Black Panther rally, where they recite a poem Cecile herself had written. At that point, Cecile's attitude toward her daughters begins a remarkable change. Rita Williams-Garcia has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and her novel One Crazy Summer was recognized as a New York Times Editor's Choice. Narrator Sisi Aisha Johnson relates the story with the refreshing honesty of a tale told through young Delphine's innocent eyes. "With memorable characters . and a powerful story, this is a book well worth reading and rereading."-School Library Journal, starred review
 

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  • AudioFile Magazine In the summer of 1968, 11-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters are sent from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to visit their mother, who abandoned them seven years earlier. What they find is not what they expected--their mother doesn't want them and sends them off each morning to a local Black Panther-run summer camp, where they encounter simmering racial tensions. SiSi Johnson's sensitive portrayal of Delphine, mature beyond her years, is pitch-perfect. With deliberate pacing and restrained tonal variations, the other characters are also thoughtfully delineated. Johnson's delivery places the spotlight on Delphine's unfolding understanding of her mother as well as her discovery of her place in the African-American community. S.G. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 4, 2010
    Williams-Garcia (Jumped
    ) evokes the close-knit bond between three sisters, and the fervor and tumultuousness of the late 1960s, in this period novel featuring an outspoken 11-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y. Through lively first-person narrative,readers meet Delphine, whose father sends her and her two younger sisters to Oakland, Calif., to visit their estranged mother, Cecile. When Cecile picks them up at the airport, she is as unconventional as Delphine remembers (“There was something uncommon about Cecile. Eyes glommed onto her. Tall, dark brown woman in man's pants whose face was half hidden by a scarf, hat, and big dark shades. She was like a colored movie star”). Instead of taking her children to Disneyland as they had hoped, Cecile shoos them off to the neighborhood People's Center, run by members of the Black Panthers. Delphine doesn't buy into all of the group's ideas, but she does come to understand her mother a little better over the 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. Ages 9–12.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from October 1, 2010

    Gr 4-7-The tumultuous summer of 1968 is the setting for this splendid story (Amistad, 2010) by Rita Williams-Garcia. Delphine, almost 12, along with her sisters Vonetta and Fern, fly across the country to visit their mother, Cecile, who long ago abandoned the family to pursue her poetry. The girls ache for hugs and kisses but desperately try not to hope too much. Good thing. When they arrive at her green stucco house in poor, mostly-black Oakland, California, their mother constantly mutters "didn't want you to come." Cecile fobs the sisters off on the local Black Panther community center, and the girls spend their summer days eating cold eggs and learning that the Black Panthers are more about serving their community and protecting the rights of black citizens than shoot-outs with the police. While U.S. politics roil and boil in the background, Delphine seethes over her crazy mother. Their final confrontation is both poignant and satisfying as we come to understand Cecile. Sisi Aisha Johnson infuses each character with a distinct personality and the tone is upbeat and even humorous. She perfectly captures each character's voice, and her delivery is silky smooth and perfectly paced. Seeing the historic summer of '68 through the eyes of sensitive, intuitive Delphine is a treat. Featuring flawless writing and narration, this is storytelling at its finest. Sure to garner numerous awards.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK

    Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • —School Library Journal, starred review "With memorable characters ... and a powerful story, this is a book well worth reading and rereading."

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One Crazy Summer Series, Book 1
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