Skip to main content

Tween Tuesday: One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme that highlights great reads for tweens! Join the fun and leave the link to your Tween Tuesday post in the comments!

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia

Rating: 5/5 Stars (I gave this one a Gold Star Award on

Genre: Historical

Release Date: 2/1/2010

Add to Goodreads

About the Book: It’s 1968 and Delphine and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, are being sent to California to visit the mother that abandoned them soon after Fern was born. The girl’s have grand ideas about a mother who will hug them and take them to Disneyland.

Instead their mother Cecile doesn’t want anything to do with them, cares more about her poetry, and sends them out for Chinese take-out every night. She’s more concerned about her work and sends to girls to a Blank Panther run summer camp during the day. The girls learn about revolution and family in a summer they will never forget.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I really fell hard for this book-I reviewed it for and it recieve a Gold Star award from me-I loved it that much. It’s hard to express how wonderful this book is and how much I adored it. I was pretty sure I would enjoy since I had been hearing a positive buzz around this book. But I was completely unexpected for how much this book would pull me in and not let go-I couldn’t put it down.

This is a quiet book. It’s not an action filled book, and there wasn’t any suspense that made me keep turning pages. It was just the beautifully written story of three sisters discovering their mother and themselves. There was just something about it that really resonated with me as a reader and I had to keep reading this one-I couldn’t stop.

The writing is superb-this is a middle grade novel, but the author never writes down to her audience and the characters are beautifully realistic and the dynamics between the sisters is spot-on. I loved Delphine-I think she’s one of my new favorite characters in children’s lit. In many ways she is wise beyond her years, being the oldest sister and having to care for her younger sisters and mediating their quarrels. But she’s also a child herself and she lets herself finally be a child during this summer. The reader gets to know Delphine so much during the course of the book, that the reader ends up growing with her and Ms. Williams-Garcia pulls it off beautifully.

I think what I loved most, that even though this is a middle-grade tween book, there are so many layers that readers of all ages could read it get something different. I was honestly amazed at how much I fell into this book and how much I loved it.

One Crazy Summer has five starred reviews and I think it's extremely deserving. I really could keep gushing about this book, but instead you should get yourself a copy. This one is on my Newbery Award shortlist (along with The Night Fairy) Highly recommended for tweens and up.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed for


  1. I just finished this myself (read it in one day), and loved it.

  2. I heard Rita read a section from this at the Philly Book Festival and loved it: the writing, format, everything. This one is definitely going on my wishlist now! Thanks!

  3. Wow - it sounds fabulous! Hopefully I'll get my hands on it soon. Here's my tween Tuesday pick.

  4. Well, your review had me going straight to Amazon and adding it to my cart! Here is my Tween Tuesday link :)
    Tween Tuesdays

  5. I am so delighted to read your review. I bought it for my library and hope to get it read before school is out! Here is my Tween Tuesday offering!

  6. I've heard such great things about this book. I'll have to check it out soon! Here's my Tween Tuesday link.

  7. You mihgt be surprised with how The Underneath ends...

  8. I love middle grade books that do it right - they tell a good story but don't dumb it down for the audience. They are much smarter than they are given credit for!

    This is the second good review I've read of it. I'll need to check it out!

  9. I love this book! Especially how it was MG but the author does not talk down to her readers and as a teenager I still enjoyed the story. Delphine is great and I sometimes forgot she was only 12. Also the absentee mother theme is not often explored in YA/MG so that made this book interesting.

    I also loved the historical fiction aspect of it, the Black Panthers aren't usually given a spotlight, but the author presented the good and the bad which I liked.

  10. My goodness, you simply have me giddy thinking about reading this book! Thankyou for the review :)

  11. jpetroroy-I'm so glad you loved it!!

    Steph Su-I'd love to check out more of the authors books now. I hope you like it!

    Melissa-I hope you get to read it!

    LLL-I'm glad you purchased it-I can't wait to read your review.

    Jana-This is one you should read before school is over (or take it home for summer!)

    Lawral-It does have lots of positive reviews-I wouldn't be surprised if it got a medal this year.

    Jill-MG books can be really good sometimes or really awful-and this one is a great example of those great books that are good for any age!

    MissAttitude-So true! The absentee mother aspect of the story is not often found in books, so I think that makes it even more unique. And there were times I thought Delphine was wise beyond her years.

    Kika-Aww..yay! I hope you get to read it soon!

  12. i love the idea of tween tuesdays. can't wait for next tues. and can't wait to pick up one crazy summer. simply not enough of these kinds of books out there for a hungry tween audience. thanks for the smart, thoughtful, detailed review.


Post a Comment

I love hearing from other readers! Share your thoughts and chime in!

Popular posts from this blog

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 5/5 Stars Genre: Realistic Fiction Release Date: 2/26/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Eleanor and Park are both misfits. When new girl Eleanor sits next to Park on the bus, they don't want anything to do with each other. But over the course of the school year, things change. It starts with comic books and becomes a friendship and a romance that the two will never forget. You never forget your first love. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Have you ever had a book sit on your shelf that you've heard so much hype about? And you think that books sounds like it would be right up your alley, but you're in a reading slump and you're afraid to give it a try unless it fails? I knew Eleanor and Park sounded like my perfect book, but I was in such an after committee slump that I even though I knew this book would help, I just didn't want to be disappointed. I should have known better because Eleanor and Park was perfect and everything that I had hoped it wou

Contact Me

  I love to hear from fellow readers and librarians! Send me an email to say hello! You can reach me at greenbeanteenqueen (at) gmail (dot) com

Post Downton Abbey Reading List

Downton Abbey is over (with a shocking and frustrating ending!) and now I'm suffering Downton Abbey withdrawal. I've got a reading list full of books that I hope will satisfy my post-Downton Abbey cravings and I thought I'd share what's in my pile and get suggestions for other after Downton reads. Here's what I hope to be reading this year (a mix of YA and adult titles):                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A couple Julian Fellowes reads:                And a few re-reads:                    Edited to add: What's on your Post-Downton Abbey reading list?