Monday, January 24, 2011

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Delphine, Vonetta and Fern have been sent from Brooklyn to Oakland to spend the summer with the mother who left them. Cecile doesn't seem to want them there. Every morning, she sends the girls away to the Black Panthers' summer camp to keep them out of her hair. Delphine is used to taking care of her younger sisters, but she can't protect them from Cecile's distant behavior. As the girls make new friends at the community center, they learn about more than just revolution and equality. They learn about who they are, and about how they can be a stronger family.

This is an aspect of the Civil Rights movement that doesn't usually make it into children's historical fiction. For that alone, I'd recommend this book. But for all the mention of the Panthers and their agenda, this is, at its heart, a book about identity and family. I think most readers will identify with Delphine's struggle to find her place in her world and in her family.

*One Crazy Summer is the winner of the Coretta Scott King award and a Newbery Honor book for 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice review - keep them coming. A librarian's perspective is always interesting.