One Crazy Summer
In 1968, Delphine looks after her two sisters in New York with her father and grandmother, while their mother has disappeared to California. The girls have an opportunity to visit California and to get to know their mother better. Instead, they attend a day camp run by Black Panthers and grow up a little as they experience new things and meet new people.
This is the first book in the Gaither Sisters trilogy. The second book is called P.S. Be Eleven, and the third is called Gone Crazy in Alabama.
An interesting look at this turbulent time in U.S. history, as well as an examination of how to handle unmet expectations in relationships. Delphine's mother is not very engaged with her children, and the story is more about Delphine's determination to accept that than about her mother's character development. It's especially interesting as Delphine tries to reconcile her loyalty to her mother with her grandmother's disapproval of her mother.
This is the only book for middle grade readers that I've found that directly depicts the Black Panther movement, and, as seen through Delphine's eyes, it's an accessible look at the politics of the period. While it's not a feel-good story that will resonate with all readers, it's a unique book compared to other historical fiction titles for this age group.
"One Crazy Summer quote"
If you like this book, you may also like . . .