Friday, October 25, 2013

One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer

Today’s post is on One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Gracia. It is 215 pages long and is published by Amistad. The cover has the three sisters on it with Delphine closest to the reader looking up at the sky. The intended readers are children but teachers could read this out loud for the class. It is told from the first person point of view from Delphine. This book has won the Coretta Scoot King Award, was a National Book Award Finalist, and is a Newberry Honor Book. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.
When the girls arrive in Oakland in this summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education.
Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, One Crazy Summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls in search of the mother who abandoned them- an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of book for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.

Review- This is not my kind of book. But that said it is well written and if you are interested in the time period then this is a good book for you. For me personally I was bored with it. I did not feel that the main problem was resolved by the end. I did not buy Cecile’s ‘change’ and I still do not get why she left when Cecile could not name Fern. I think that Delphine is only adult that is in the book and that is sad because she is only eleven. The dynamics between the sisters is believable but I just really did not connect with the book. I think that it was a place in the classroom with all the history that is very important to the book but other than that I just do not see it being more.

I give this book Three out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review, I borrowed this book from my local library, and I read it for a graduate class.