Kate Hastings's Reviews > One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
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Jun 16, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: jfic-middle-grades-4-6, historicalfictionj
Read in January, 2011

Grades 4-6. RL 750. 11 year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters fly across the country to Oakland to meet the mother that left them when they were just babes. When she turns out to be as unsavory as their grandmother always said she was, they are pretty much neglected and sent to spend their vacation at a Black Panthers summer camp.

This is an interesting look at Black Panther history-- a less violent look at the challenges facing blacks in the late 1960s. How hard it must have been to read Dick and Jane books in school and only white baby dolls to love. We forget how much more diverse our books and toys are these days than they were even just a few years ago.

The mother in this book was completely despicable. I did feel pretty depressed after reading this. Imagine how exciting it would be to fly across the country to meet your mother--who must miss you--and go to Disneyland and get to know her. Only to be resented, barely fed, and generally unwelcome. Having no mom was hard for the girls-- but in this case, it really was the best thing for them. So sad.

Anyhow-- a great book! Worth the Newbery buzz!
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