I found this at Goodwill for a dollar the other day. Loving non-fiction and personal stories and seeing this kid's cute, smiling face I had to get it.I found this at Goodwill for a dollar the other day. Loving non-fiction and personal stories and seeing this kid's cute, smiling face I had to get it. And I'm glad I did because I'm going to hang onto it for when Julia's older. I think all kids should read this, black, white, every race. I do have to say that I think Roth did a disservice to this story. I'm not big into art but I can appreciate certain forms. But her collage art in this text makes the book seem tacky. And the story and author are anything but. If pictures were available they would have gone a long way with me and I'm sure many others. If they weren't then leave it up to the reader. Even one or two current pics of the author if that's all he could include would have been better than what Roth did. I'm not going to rate the book on that though. I'm rating it for what it is - a short story, for the younger crowd, meant to show them what it was like way back when. Tillage wasn't a slave. Tillage's parents weren't slaves. Tillage's grandparents weren't slaves. But his great-grandparent's were. Walter was born in 1936 in North Carolina. And while he was a "free" man he may as well been a slave. Some of the things he tells of in this book alternately make my blood boil and run cold. The story of his Father's death makes me want to try to find if the people involved are still alive to find them and torture them. Then the one boys Father. The fact that there was ever a time in this country where what happened to Tillage's Father happened is out of this world. I literally cannot imagine. What's interesting is that even in that time, there were normal people sprinkled in here and there. (And I stand by the use of the word 'normal' because IMO racists are not.) Tillage even mentions a few times when whites and blacks came together. I'll never understand it but I do know this - I would have never survived. Everyone being equal isn't something I learned, it's something ingrained in who I am and I honestly believe it would be that way whether I was born in 1920 or 2020. I don't often get to say this but it's a shame more people can't be like me. ;-) Leon's Story is very fast. So fast I read it while eating breakfast yesterday and I finished the book before my breakfast. Apparently Tillage lives and works (lived and worked?) in Baltimore, MD. and speaks yearly at a local school(s). Tillage is the kind of person you wish you were able to shake hands with. He seems like a real upbeat and positive person even after all he's seen, all he's suffered. It's a shame more people can't be like him. :( ...more
This is a Blue Hen nominee which is the reason I noticed it this week at the library, along with Jake by Audrey Couloumbis, which I'm reading now. TherThis is a Blue Hen nominee which is the reason I noticed it this week at the library, along with Jake by Audrey Couloumbis, which I'm reading now. There are a lot of things I loved about One Crazy Summer, not the least of which was Delphine. Delphine, the main character, is mature for her age, caring for her two younger sisters and making all of the wise decisions usually left for a parent. At the same time, she's still a pre-teen and that peeks out every so often. This all makes her very relatable to many, many people. Delphine is a pre-teen black girl living in the Bronx, N.Y./Oakland, CA. I'm a 33 year old white woman living in the suburbs. Yet I was able to relate. I love that the author included many different types of characters in the story. Crazy Kelvin was the full fledged racist which was needed IMHO for a story like this and there were others who were a few rungs below Kelvin on that particular ladder. Yet most of the characters were not racist. As much as these people were concerned with the state of things at this time, and with their race, there was no racism from these certain characters. (Race is a touchy subject with me so I was very happy for this.) I saw one or two reviewers mention the problem with the Oakland streets and landscape. I want to mention that if I was familiar with Oakland, and if I knew this to be true, it would have affected my rating. Something like that does mess up a story to a certain point for me. Being that I don't know Oakland and I don't know the people speaking of the discrepancies it didn't matter to me here at all. But, if they are correct, and it sounds as if they are, I think it'd have been fairly easy to change a few aspects of the book so this wouldn't have been an issue. For example, instead of Hirohito gliding down the street on his go-kart there are a number if different ways to show what was shown here, an activity on a flat surface. But in the end this didn't affect me as I said. I'd certainly recommend this to anyone interested in good YA, race issues, the period of the Black Panthers in CA., etc. I'd be interested in reading something else by Williams-Garcia if I can find something that grabs my interest like this did.