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|One crazy summer|
Author: Williams-Garcia, Rita
In the summer of 1968, after traveling to Oakland, California, to spend a month with their estranged mother, Delphine and her two younger sisters get a cold welcome as their mother makes them attend a Black Panther summer camp.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 135338
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 48832
Newbery Honor, 2011
Coretta Scott King Author Award, 2011
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 5.RF Phonics & Word Recognition
Grade 5 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 5.RF Fluency
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/10)
School Library Journal (+) (03/01/10)
Booklist (+) (02/01/10)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (02/10)
The Hornbook (+) (03/10)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2010 The titular summer is that of 1968, when Delphine and her little sisters, Vonetta and Fern, travel from Brooklyn, where they live with their father and grandmother, to Oakland, California, the home of their estranged mother. Once there, they find that their mother, Cecile, has renamed herself “Nzila,” that she’s a poet, printing on her own kitchen press, and that she has no interest in her visiting kids (“I didn’t send for you. Didn’t want you in the first place”). She kicks the kids out during the day, sending them off to get breakfast from the Black Panthers at the People’s Center, where they decide to stay for the summer camp program. Delphine finds some friends there, and she also makes some inroads into connecting with her prickly, irascible mother and the cause that she’s supporting. There are occasional contrived moments in the tale, but the characters are compelling enough to overcome the flaws. Eleven-year-old Delphine, plain-faced and plain-spoken and big-sister capable, is a compelling narrator, and her perspective on the cultural contrasts and shifts is enlightening and credible. She’s coming from a home dominated by an Alabama-grown grandmother, who’s determined that the girls not make a “grand Negro spectacle” in public, but her stubborn independence and inquiring mind echo her mother’s defiant ways and bring her to consider the new ideas she’s encountering. This is for younger readers than Magoon’s The Rock and the River (BCCB 3/09), also a story of black activism in 1968, and while it’s got some details about the Panther movement, it’s even more effective as a portrait of a girl whose understanding of both her family and her racial identity is enriched by the challenges she faces. DS - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 02/01/2010 *Starred Review* Eleven-year-old Delphine has only a few fragmented memories of her mother, Cecile, a poet who wrote verses on walls and cereal boxes, played smoky jazz records, and abandoned the family in Brooklyn after giving birth to her third daughter. In the summer of 1968, Delphine’s father decides that seeing Cecile is “something whose time had come,” and Delphine boards a plane with her sisters to Cecile’s home in Oakland. What they find there is far from their California dreams of Disneyland and movie stars. “No one told y’all to come out here,” Cecile says. “No one wants you out here making a mess, stopping my work.” Like the rest of her life, Cecile’s work is a mystery conducted behind the doors of the kitchen that she forbids her daughters to enter. For meals, Cecile sends the girls to a Chinese restaurant or to the local, Black Panther–run community center, where Cecile is known as Sister Inzilla and where the girls begin to attend youth programs. Regimented, responsible, strong-willed Delphine narrates in an unforgettable voice, but each of the sisters emerges as a distinct, memorable character, whose hard-won, tenuous connections with their mother build to an aching, triumphant conclusion. Set during a pivotal moment in African American history, this vibrant novel shows the subtle ways that political movements affect personal lives; but just as memorable is the finely drawn, universal story of children reclaiming a reluctant parent’s love. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2010 Gr 4–7— It is 1968, and three black sisters from Brooklyn have been put on a California-bound plane by their father to spend a month with their mother, a poet who ran off years before and is living in Oakland. It's the summer after Black Panther founder Huey Newton was jailed and member Bobby Hutton was gunned down trying to surrender to the Oakland police, and there are men in berets shouting "Black Power" on the news. Delphine, 11, remembers her mother, but after years of separation she's more apt to believe what her grandmother has said about her, that Cecile is a selfish, crazy woman who sleeps on the street. At least Cecile lives in a real house, but she reacts to her daughters' arrival without warmth or even curiosity. Instead, she sends the girls to eat breakfast at a center run by the Black Panther Party and tells them to stay out as long as they can so that she can work on her poetry. Over the course of the next four weeks, Delphine and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, spend a lot of time learning about revolution and staying out of their mother's way. Emotionally challenging and beautifully written, this book immerses readers in a time and place and raises difficult questions of cultural and ethnic identity and personal responsibility. With memorable characters (all three girls have engaging, strong voices) and a powerful story, this is a book well worth reading and rereading.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.