One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters Series)
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. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern's story continues in P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama.
Readers who enjoy Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming will find much to love in One Crazy Summer. Rita Williams-Garcia's books about Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern can also be read alongside nonfiction explorations of American history such as Jason Reynolds's and Ibram X. Kendi's books.
In One Crazy Summer, 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. But when the sisters arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with their mother, 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 is a series about three African American sisters growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in recent American history, the 1960’s and in an unconventional family setting. The Gaither sisters live in Brooklyn with Pa (Dad) and Big Ma (Grandma) and have an estranged mother in Oakland, California, whom they call Cecile. Read the adventures told by eleven-year-old Delphine and her younger sister, Vonetta and Fern, as they visit their kin all over the rapidly changing nation. They will discover that the bonds of family, and their own strength, run deeper than they ever knew possible. A series that addresses real world problems and refers to the Black Panther group at that time. Talks about some tough issues that happened during that era in a tone that was used then. I would suggest reading with your child so you can discuss the unpleasant parts together. The Gaither Sister series starts with One Crazy Summer, followed by P.S. Eleven, and Gone Crazy in Alabama. ~Amber
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