|Coretta Scott King Award|
Williams-Garcia, R. (2010). One crazy summer. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
This is the story of three sisters; Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern and their plight to get to know their estranged mom, Cecile, who left them and went out to California. The oldest girl, Delphine, remembers only a few things about her mom. Back home in Brooklyn, they live with their Papa and Big Ma (their grandma) who are quite strict with manners and rules. It was Papa's doing to send them to meet Cecile. The girls aren't too sure about it. They are angry that they were left by their mother.
The girls end up wanting to get to know Cecile, but Cecile wants nothing to do with them.
The girls are told that they are not allowed in the kitchen. They must go eat breakfast at the center and stay there for camp all day too. It happens to be a revolutionary group called the Black Panthers where the girls are taught about the people's power and rights. Delphine, at the age of 11, is responsible for her sisters all day long, including getting them dinner, on the streets of Oakland, CA.
The girls mom is arrested with a couple of black panthers right before the rally that the girls are going to perform in.
The girls go to live with a neighbor for this time and decide to perform a poem written by Cecil, their mom.
Cecil makes it to the rally in time to see them. Back at the apartment, Cecil has a conversation with Delphine that answers questions about their past. When she takes the girls to the airport, the girls break out of line to run back to give Cecil a hug. They will actually miss her.
1) The dialogue in this story was used very well. The three sisters would always have a comment one right after the other when they were speaking to someone.
2) This story uses flashbacks as a way to show what Delphine remembers from the time when Cecile was home with them in Brooklyn. It also uses flashbacks to show the difference in how the girls live in Brooklyn with Papa versus Oakland with Cecile.