• Book

One crazy summer

by Williams-Garcia, Rita.

There are currently 13 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Y Fiction, R Newbery Honor 2011

Available Copies: Downtown Youth, Malletts Youth, Pittsfield Youth, Traverwood Youth

Additional Details

In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Community Reviews

Good Historical Fiction for the Period

The voice of the narrator, Delphine is honest, caring and thoughtful. The idea behind this trio of young sisters traveling across the country to meet their estranged mother did have me concerned. The mother, Cecile, was rude, selfish and inconsiderate. I couldn't stand the thought of these loving girls being stuck with this uncaring woman for a month. But the girls prevailed and seemingly got their birth mother to at least recognize what intelligent, compassionate children she left behind. the book did end abruptly and left some questions in my mind. But all in all it was a good read.


Delphine doesn't need a mother. She and her two sisters, Vonetta and Fern, and her father and grandmother, Big Ma, are doing just fine on their own. So imagine Delphine's surprise when Pa insists that she and her sisters travel all the way across the country to visit Cecile, their estranged mother who walked out them seven years ago. To make matters worse, once the girls arrive, Cecile isn't happy to see them and reminds them at every turn that she never asked for them to come. She sends them to the Black Panther Community Center and tells them to keep out of her way. How will Delphine and her sisters survive one day, let alone an entire month with this woman?

As long as you can overlook the fact that otherwise loving and protective guardians allow their children to travel alone to 1968 Oakland to stay with a mentally-ill woman, you're likely to enjoy this book. Williams-Garcia is a gifted storyteller. She achieves the rare feat of creating an entire cast of characters that come alive on the page. Delphine's voice in particular is a strength. At once practical, thoughtful, precocious, and age-appropriate, she's a heroine of Scout Finch caliber. Like Countdown, also out this year, Summer will nudge readers to reconsider their perceptions of the sixties. Delphine and her younger sisters navigate a complex world; although they are familiar with the changes being brought about by the Civil Rights Movement, they live in constant fear of making a "a great Negro spectacle" of themselves. This book has the potential to be a catalyst for discussion in middle grade social studies classrooms. For example, ask students what they knew about the Black Panthers before reading Summer and how their knowledge was or was not reflected in the story. A minor complaint is that the story ends abruptly and without a satisfying conclusion. Williams-Garcia would have been well-advised to add more denouement.

good storyline

finished all tappan top ten titles and won!!!!


liked the book

Login to write a review of your own.