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One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia
Rating: 5/5 Stars (I gave this one a Gold Star Award on TeensReadToo.com)
Release Date: 2/1/2010
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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 TeensReadToo.com 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 TeensReadToo.com