The Compulsive Reader: One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Thursday, May 2, 2013

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Delphine is used to taking care of her little sisters, Vonetta and Fern, since their mother left them when Fern was a baby. When the girls are sent from their home in New York to Oakland, CA to visit Cecile for a month, Delphine is both nervous and excited to see her mother, and unsure of what to expect. Cecile isn't at all what the girls imagined, and she doesn't seem very interested in getting to know them, either. As the girls spend their days at a summer camp sponsored by the Black Panther Party, they are exposed to new ideas that change their view of the world, and their view of their mother.

One Crazy Summer is a smart, sharp, and humorous story with three very lovable and realistic characters. The novel is narrated by Delphine, whose strong sense of responsibility and protectiveness sometimes annoys her little sisters. But there is no doubt that the girls all love each other and share a strong bond, and their optimism and determination is equally as strong. Even though the story is told from Delphine's perspective, the book is about each of the sisters and how they are changed by the month they spend with Cecile and other members of the Black Panther Party—and by how they eventually change Cecile. The dialogue is extremely realistic and well-written, and the pacing is perfect. One Crazy Summer is an excellent novel for both young and old(er) readers.

Cover Comments: I like how bright and colorful this paperback cover is (and all of the awards just make me grin--this book certainly does deserve them!). I think it is a little more inviting than the hardcover cover, although I really like them both and it's hard to choose my favorite.

Also, be sure to look for P.S. Be Eleven, the sequel to One Crazy Summer, coming May 21st, 2013!

Book borrowed from the library.

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