This week’s staff pick, One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, is the story of three sisters, Delphine, Vonetta and Fern and the summer they spend with their mother Cecile in Oakland, CA. It’s 1968 and Cecile has no interest in her daughters and to keep them occupied she sends them to a Black Panther day camp. Readers get to experience the turbulent times and major issues through Delphine’s fantastic narration. A powerful story with memorable characters and a few laughs, this is a great read for older kids, as well as teens and adults. It’s the first in a trilogy and if you’re participating in the 2016 Read Harder Challenge it fulfills task 16 (read the first book in a series by a person of color).
“In this Newbery Honor novel, New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them.
Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She’s had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. When they arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with her, Cecile is nothing like they imagined. While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.
This moving, funny novel won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and the Coretta Scott King Award and was a National Book Award Finalist.” —Amazon