One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
11-year-old Delphine has always watched out for her sisters, and she continues to do so during the summer of 1968 when their father decides that they should spend a month across the country with their mother Cecile—whom they barely know. Thinking that they’d spend their time at Disneyland having fun and getting to know Cecile, the girls are disappointed when they quickly learn that she wants nothing to do with them and that they’re visiting only because their father insisted on it.
Cecile doesn’t let them come into the kitchen because that’s where she does her poetry work. She
also doesn’t want them around during the day, so she sends them to the local Black Panthers’ Community Center. At first Delphine doesn’t pay much attention to the activists, but then she finds that the ladies there are actually very nice. She uses some of the strength she learns from them to finally stand up to Cecile.
This is a great book—readers will definitely like the girls: Delphine, who seems older and wiser than her years; Vonetta, the drama queen; and little Fern, who carries her (white) babydoll Miss Patty
Cake around with her everywhere. Those who enjoyed the setting of this book might also enjoy My Life with the Lincolns (Brandeis) or Sources of Light (McMullan).
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