Bea’s Books: One Crazy Summer

BEA’S BOOKS
One Crazy Summer
(5 out of 5 stars)

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia is about three sisters: Delphine, Vonetta and Fern. It takes place in 1968 when the sisters go see their mother in Oakland who left them when Fern was a baby. Their mother isn’t fun—she’s actually very serious. That summer they eat dinner on a tablecloth laid across the floor and aren’t allowed to enter the kitchen in their mother’s house. Why? Delphine and her sisters have no idea.

Delphine often remembers moments she spent with her mother when she was little—she was definitely not as serious before she left. Delphine doesn’t know what changed, but she wonders if something in the woman’s past or the racism of the time they are living through could cause the seriousness. They go to summer camp, meet new kids, learn important lessons about racial justice with a very kind woman and meet members of the Black Panther Party.

One Crazy Summer is about three sisters: Delphine, Vonetta and Fern. It takes place in 1968 when the sisters go see their mother in Oakland who left them when Fern was a baby. Their mother isn’t fun—she’s actually very serious. That summer they eat dinner on a tablecloth laid across the floor and aren’t allowed to enter the kitchen in their mother’s house. Why? Delphine and her sisters have no idea. Delphine often remembers moments she spent with her mother when she was little—she was definitely not as serious before she left. Delphine doesn’t know what changed, but she wonders if something in the woman’s past or the racism of the time they are living through could cause the seriousness. They go to summer camp, meet new kids, learn important lessons about racial justice with a very kind woman and meet members of the Black Panther Party.

One Crazy Summer lives up to the title because that one summer in 1968 turns out to be truly crazy. I recommend it to ages 9+.

Beatrice Cosgrove, 10, is a reader and writer in St. Paul.

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