One Crazy Summer

Williams-Garcia, Rita

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
One Crazy Summer
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.

Publisher: New York, NY : Amistad, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060760892
Branch Call Number: J FIC W
Characteristics: 218 p. ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

2011 Author Award Winner

Author Award Winner.

Chicago sisters are shipped off to California to stay with their
estranged and distant mother at the height of the Black Panther
movement. A historical novel filled with memorable characters
and resonating relationships.

From the critics

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Feb 18, 2015
  • Chapel_Hill_TishaW rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

In the midst of the 1960's and the Civil Rights Movement, three young African-American sisters are flown from Brooklyn, NY to Oakland, CA to spend a month with the poet-mother who abandoned them six years ago. But instead of bonding with her as they had hoped, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are sent to "summer camp" with the Black Panthers. Readers experience the girls' off-the-wall moments through the eyes of Delphine, the responsible eldest sister. This book does an excellent job of addressing differing perspectives and the possibilities for reconciliation--cultural, political, and familial. For a YA book that covers similar ground, try The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon.

Jul 09, 2014
  • ridgerocks1218 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book was rocking' like crazy!

Oct 03, 2013
  • nlthoma rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wow! This book was great! What I love about this book is that a large span of ages and grades will find this book enjoyable. Also, I love the historical aspect relating to the Black Panthers that is included.

Feb 10, 2013

This book is a must read parents. I ran across this book simply while looking for chapter books to read for my class, and enjoyed the book to the fullest. I do not really know a lot about the Black Panther movement, but this book gives insight on the movement from the eyes of three sisters. Parents if you want to expose your children to a different era, which you should; this will be a great book for him or her to read. Despite the unfortunate circumstances the girls are in, the see, to make the best of what they have, and where they are.

Jul 30, 2012
  • ggbookreader rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Review title: The People's Center Summer Camp.
How would you like to go back in time to the late 1960s and see the world through the eyes of three young girls? Well, you can. Go back to 1968 with an eleven year-old, a nine year-old, and a seven year-old to experience a summer they would remember for a lifetime. Many exciting adventures are in store for the three, and you will learn all about the sights and sounds they discovered as they traveled from the East coast to the West coast. *Informative. *Revealing. *Insightful. **Gives a look into childhood from different perspectives.

Jan 11, 2012
  • jhahn rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wonderful historical fiction. I feel I learned about a time period while enjoying the story.

Feb 20, 2011
  • bibliovore rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This audio CD was an ALA notable recording for 2010, and it's easy to see why. Narrator Sisi Aisha Johnson creates fantastic voices for the three Gaither sisters, Delphine, Vonetta and Fern. Her narration makes a great story even better, and that much more fun to listen to. Highly recommended.

Feb 16, 2011
  • missmarcy rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Black Panthers. Unloving poet mother WAW nominee

Dec 29, 2010
  • LibrarianJan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is my favorite, so far, of the books I've read from many of the Mock Newbery lists that are out there. The three sisters are distinct characters. Some beautiful, poetic passages in places in the story.

This book, compared to the moving first novel by Kekla Magoon from last year, The Rock and the River , is a younger introduction to the Black Panthers, too. While a story of three young girls, abandoned by their mother may not be upbeat, the sisters do come to a believable understanding of their mother and it has a realistic, if not happily ever after ending.


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Jul 09, 2014
  • blue_dog_52954 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

blue_dog_52954 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 13

Jul 09, 2014

blue_ant_872 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jul 18, 2013
  • orange_cat_2242 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

orange_cat_2242 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Feb 10, 2013

jrmccowan thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jul 22, 2012
  • white_butterfly_199 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

white_butterfly_199 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jun 25, 2012
  • white_butterfly_162 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

white_butterfly_162 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jun 20, 2012
  • red_bird_934 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

red_bird_934 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add a Summary

May 23, 2013
  • BarSeeg rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It's been one crazy summer with the mother they hardly even know. Three kids venture to California and met their mom who just happens to be involved in the often violent Black Panthers Movement of the 1960s. How's that for a summer vacation to remember.

Feb 10, 2013

Eleven year old Delphine, and her two younger sisters Vonetta, and Fern were sent from Brooklyn to California to see someone who left them seven years ago; their mother. When the girls arrive in Oakland, California, they realize the women the mother they were so anxious to see wants nothing to do with them for the summer, and sends them off to a day camp sponsored by the Black Panthers. The girls want nothing more than to be loved by someone who walked out on them. Though this book takes place in one of the most horrible times in history this story will gives you some laughs, and cries.


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Feb 10, 2013

Cecile looked at us, then at the stewardess. I’m Cecile Johnson. These are mine.” “Cecile’s face had no expression.”


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