Eleven year-old Delphine and her younger sisters Vonnetta and Fern embark on a physical and emotional journey during what turns out to be One Crazy Summer. They are sent to Oakland, California in the summer of 1968 to the care of their radical-poet mother, Cecile, who left them when Fern was just a baby. Cecile, however, wants nothing to do with them and instead encourages them to attend a day camp for fellow members of the Black Panthers, a group of civil right activists that fight to right the wrongs of social and racial injustice and inequality. While there the sisters’ eyes are opened to prejudice, discrimination and hate not only outside the camp but within its very walls. Rita Williams-Garcia has written a remarkable story that weaves together the hardships of racial prejudice, the unbreakable bond between sisters and the attempt to mend a fragile relationship between a troubled mother and her children. This book is the 2011 recipient of both the Coretta Scott King Author Award and a Newbery Honor.
Reviewed by Ericka