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Gone Crazy in Alabama (Gaither Sisters, #3)
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Gone Crazy in Alabama

(Gaither Sisters #3)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,799 Ratings  ·  527 Reviews
Coretta Scott King Award winner * ALA Notable Book * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year * ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice * Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year * Washington Post Best Books of the Year * The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Book * Three starred reviews * CCBC Choice * New York Public Lib ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Amistad
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Maybe the impact of a stepbrother/sister on a solid group of sisters. I hope so anyway.

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I’m a conceited enough children’s librarian that I like it when a book wins me over. I don’t want them to make it easy for me. When I sit down to read something I want to know that the author on the other side of the manuscript is scrabbling to get the reader’s attention. Granted that reader is supposed to be a 10-year-old kid and not a 37-year-old woman, but to a certain extent audience is audience. Now I’ll say right off the bat that under normal circumstances I don’t tend to read sequels and ...more
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
History, self-awareness, negotiated boundaries and family secrets are at the heart of Gone Crazy in Alabama, the third – and final – book in Rita Williams Garcia’s excellent Gaither Sisters series.

Sisters Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern travel from Brooklyn to Alabama to spend their summer visiting their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. In Alabama, the cultural shock they face is only the beginning of their problems: there is also the matter of meeting Uncle Darnell for the first tim
Rebecca McNutt
Gone Crazy in Alabama is an incredibly gripping story for what it is, with wonderful descriptions of Alabama itself and creative characters.
Sarah Weathersby
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have fallen in love with Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, the Gaither Sisters. I was late discovering this series for "Middle Grades" with great historical lessons.

It started with "One Crazy Summer," with the sisters visiting their wayward mother in Oakland, CA. Then the aftermath and return home to Brooklyn in "P.S. Be Eleven."

The latest installment is "Gone Crazy in Alabama" when Pa sends the girls "Down South" to meet the relatives on the farm. I so much enjoyed the voices of the girls as they
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks to my Goodreads friend Orinoco Womble for recommending this.
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This is No. 3 in the Gaither Sisters series, but the first I've read. I started with this one because it was on sale for $1.99 in Kindle version. This is a great story about three close young (8, 10, & 12) sisters who travel alone from Brooklyn to Alabama to visit relatives for the summer. Adventures ensue and the Alabama characters are hilarious. This is a great, easy read with an underlying thread of familial love.
Absolutely excellent. The Gaither sisters head down south to spend some time with their relatives in Alabama (Big Ma and her mother Ma Charles). While there the girls learn a lot about their ancestry and the feud going on between Ma Charles and her half-sister Miss Trotter.

The elderly sisters are storytellers, which really appeals to Vonetta who ends up carrying bickering messages between the two front porches for nearly the entirety of her time down south. When an act of nature sets the whole
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1960s Oakland, California and its tumultuous social justice scene provided a scintillating backdrop for One Crazy Summer. We were then spirited across the United States to Brooklyn, New York for P.S. Be Eleven, where people had a different attitude from the Black Panthers of California. Another extreme culture shift takes place in Gone Crazy in Alabama as sisters Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern travel by themselves for an extended stay with Big Ma (their paternal grandmother) and her mother, Ma Char ...more
Jun 18, 2016 rated it liked it
The story was fun and enjoyable, like the previous books in the series. However, this book really brought to the front something that bothered me about the other books. It has bothered me since One Crazy Summer how Delphine is expected to be a mother to her sisters. Everyone expects it, and she is punished for not doing it. If her sisters misbehave, Delphine is often the one who is held responsible for their behavior; for not keeping them in line. It comes to a head here when Vonetta, understand ...more
Mahoghani 23
Funny and very entertaining. Three sisters traveling to Alabama, for the summer, from Brooklyn, NY. Being the oldest, Delphine is in charge of her two younger sisters, Vonetta & Fern.

The best way to learn about your family history is through your family. The story provided insight about the silky arguments that sometimes separate families for years. It also includes information about Klansmen and the Black Panther party.

A book that can be enjoyed in any reading group.
Kris Springer
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
It started out pretty slowly and I was feeling a bit aimless. But then it heated up and a tornado shook everything up and illuminated Williams-Garcia's main theme--family, love, what's most important. Great characters, great humor and amazing conflict and resolution. With the 3rd book, these are real people to me, not just characters. I've felt that in each book but this one really ended the series well (I think the author says this is the last one.)

If you like family stories, humor, people enc
Kris Patrick
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Look at me! I read an entire series. That has happened like never.
Abby Johnson
Oh, Gaither sisters, I love you so.
Colby Sharp
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My only criticism is that I wish this wasn't the last book in the series. Thank you Rita Williams-Garcia for creating these characters. I wish I could read about them forever.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable book that not only is fun to read, great characters, but it brings with it a taste of history. I didn't realize it was part of a series. It was good as a stand alone book too.
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams Garcia is the final book in the trilogy about the Gaither Sisters of Brooklyn, NY.

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern and are spending the summer in Alabama with Big Ma. Cows, chickens, and encounters with the KKK are far cry from the streets of the city they're used to. It's also a far cry from their last summer experience in Oakland, CA. It's not entirely bad though as the girls learn more of their family'
Amy Rae
At ALA Midwinter this last weekend, one of the very kind workers at the Harper Collins booth told me she thought Gone Crazy in Alabama was the best Gaither girls book yet. I was a little skeptical, because it is really hard to imagine loving the last in a series best...but I still made it the first book I read from my considerable stack of ARCs from the conference.

And you know what? I really think she was right. As much as I love One Crazy Summer (I like P.S. Be Eleven, too, but the first was de
Catherine  Mustread
Final book of trilogy about the young Gaither sisters in the 1960s – great historical children's fiction set in the civil rights era of the 1960s. My favorite is the first in the series, One Crazy Summer, in which the girls, whose home is in Brooklyn, visit their long absent mother, a poet living in Oakland, and get involved in the Black Power movement. The second book, P.S. Be Eleven follows them through a school year, 6th grade for oldest sister, Delphine, in Brooklyn.

This, the third book, fi
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was, admittedly, my least favorite of the three Gaither sisters books. I felt it got off to a slow start, and I quickly tired of the back and forth between Ma Charles and Miss Trotter. However, the book did start picking up, and the central theme of family being there for each other no matter what was strong. After having read the entire series, I can honestly say that I feel these books are very important for children. Williams-Garcia brings to light many otherwise heavy topics and histori ...more
This is the third part of the family story about the Gaither sisters. It is the summer of 1969 and the three girls are sent to Alabama for the summer to visit relatives. Their complicated ethnic heritage and family stories are intermingled with Ku Klux Klan sightings and a close encounter with a tornado.

Williams-Garcia captures the spirit and the tone of the 60s assuming the reader's knowledge of the time period but this could be confusing for readers who aren't acquainted with the issues of th
Monica Edinger
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I owe this one a proper review. Been mulling it over for months. So, meantime, here's a place-holder comment (from the Heavy Medal blog):

This has been on my list of books to blog about, but I admit it feels daunting to both honor the arc of the trilogy and the specifics of this one title. The relationship between the older generation sisters, the interrelatedness among those in that small rural community, the young girls’ growing awareness of how not-so-simple hard things in life are….all of it
Paula Gallagher
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It was a pleasure to spend more time with these girls, and now I'm feeling sad that this is the end. Garcia-Williams is a terrific storyteller who manages to weave history into an engaging narrative. Funny and compelling with a terrific cast of characters, this is a book that can be enjoyed as a cross-generational read.
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
The final book in the series does not live up to the previous titles. The book is too bogged down in the family's genealogy. The only action in the story comes 2/3 of the way through the book. I struggled to stay interested. There was not enough humor, and there is only so much I can take of sisters bickering.
This one was a disappointment. I loved the first one, the second one was pretty good, but this last one just seemed to have lost its way. Stick with One Crazy Summer, and don't worry about the others.
Taylor Litke
Taylor Litke
Alternative Reading Assessment #5
Book: “Gone Crazy in Alabama” written by Rita Williams-Garcia
I chose this assessment because I have never done something like this before. I thought it was such a great idea to keep the reader engaged, and to help the reader think outside of the box. I thought this one was unique, and I wanted to see how easy or difficult it was to complete. This is absolutely something I will use in my future classroom.

I chose the main character Delphine. She is th
Anna Ryckman
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the third and last book in Rita Williams-Garcia’s Gaither SIsters series where Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern travel from their home in Brooklyn to their grandmother and great grandmother’s place in Alabama. I like how even though this is a series, any person can read any of the books and still understand and be engaged on what is going on. The main themes that popped out at me was the importance of family and love. The sisterly bond was portrayed beautifully through the characters The girl ...more
Nadia L. Hohn
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh, Rita Wiliams-Garcia. Is there really any serious, heavy topic you can't write about for young audiences with levity and hope? Gone Crazy in Alabama felt like how I imagine life in the south might be... slower pace of life, familial, old-fashioned methods still maintained like homemade starched sheets and preferring homemade over store-bought items, families that stick together no matter what, and relations and "next of kin" in close proximity. Rita captured all of these and more. I f ...more
Kelly Clingman
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I adored this book. The relationships felt real and so did the dialogue. Rita Williams-Garcia does an excellent job capturing the way sisters behave and talk towards each other. This book is funny, emotional, and tackles some ugly truths of American history, with grace and yet with no apologies. The girls in this book, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, are smart and strong. The way Rita Williams-Garcia weaves them into a world with different generations and social differences is masterful. They are l ...more
I think the first book in the series was probably the best, the writing style is very simplistic and after a while it gets a bit dull. They're still good books for kids, but this book feels like it could have been a bit shorter.
Erik  Olson
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams won the Coretta Scott King Book Award in 2016. I found this book at

Not having read the first or second Gaither Sisters books, I still enjoyed listening to this one. The
story itself is that of three African American sisters who are sent to spend the summer learning about their ancestry. Their adventure leads them to confront different cultural norms, family traditions as well as danger in the form of the KKK and tornadoes. Conflict is ev
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"I was born in Queens, N.Y, on April 13, 1957. My mother, Miss Essie, named me 'NoMo' immediately after my birth. Although I was her last child, I took my time making my appearance. I like to believe I was dreaming up a good story and wouldn’t budge until I was finished. Even now, my daughters call me 'Pokey Mom', because I slow poke around when they want to go-go-go.

"I learned to read early, and

Other books in the series

Gaither Sisters (3 books)
  • One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters, #1)
  • P.S. Be Eleven (Gaither Sisters, #2)
“I pressed and I prayed. It was only right that pressing went with prayer. That and being sorry. Every wrinkle was a patch of sorry to be smoothed and flattened.” 1 likes
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