Peg's Reviews > One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
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's review
Aug 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: kids_fiction, book-discussion, historical-fiction
Read in August, 2010

This is a book that works on so many levels--family dynamics, historical fiction, survival, coming of age. 11-year-old Delphine travels to Oakland with her two younger sisters Vonetta and Fern to spend a month with their mother, who abandoned them when Fern was an infant. When they arrive at the airport it is obvious that Celine doesn't want them there. She hides behind all sorts of self-imposed barriers, but Delphine is determined not to be intimidated into going home before coming to know this woman who birthed them. Williams-Garcia capably draws the Black Panthers into the story without spending a lot of time on background knowledge; there is enough information for today's reader to make sense of the time and the organization. The focus is not on the movement; it remains squarely on Delphine: her (most-often) mature relationship with her sisters, her capabilities and insecurities, her sense of right and wrong, and her determination. She is far from perfect, but she has a strong inner core. This would work well in literature circles as there is lots to discuss.

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