One Crazy Summer


Oakland, California is NOT Brooklyn! Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern live with their  grandmother and father in New York. That's the life they've always known. Until now. This summer, the girls are spending a few weeks with their mother Cecile in California. The girls, hoping for a reunion and lots of tourist visits, get quite a shock.

Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She won't let them in her kitchen, and she doesn't want her visitors to know they are there. The girls are on their own (left in Delphine's charge), except for when they are at a summer camp sponsored by the Black Panthers. Delphine is determined to do see San Francisco, and plans a day for the girls. When they get home from that excursion, Cecile has been arrested. What are they going to do now? 

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers will love Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern and see "today" in the events of 1968. This is a fast, enjoyable read.

Content Awareness Factors:


Parent Reaction

Delphine has a phenomenal "voice" that resonates from the page. Her first-person narrative is a great insight into what she sees, but also the feelings of the time. The most difficult part of this book is Cecile's behavior toward her girls. Even at the end, she doesn't soften that much. The not-a-fairy-tale ending is also what makes it a powerful story.

Type of Book:
This middle grade novel is Delphine's first-person account of life in the US during the summer of 1968.
Educational Themes:

There is plenty to explore with this book. From building on the information about the Black Panthers and racial tensions of the 1960s to exploring relationships, responsibilities, and choices.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. This is a book that everyone in the family should read. The discussions and the impact of one's decisions are just as relevant today as they were for 1968 when this story takes place.

Title One Crazy Summer
Author Rita Williams-Garcia
Publisher Amistad, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2010
ISBN 9780060760885
Material Hard Cover
Cost $15.95
Genres Family, Historical Fiction, History, Coming of Age, 1960s & 1970s
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