Ution than she is to her own family in which she literally has no interest She shuffles the girls used to a pretty staid existence in Brooklyn off to a Black Panther summer camp to eep them out of her way Serious self sacrificing Delphine already too grown up for her age finds herself having to take care of her sisters pretty much on her own Although already resentful of the mother who preferred a life without children to hamper her art and her freedom Delphine never expected the cold reception she and her sisters received One Crazy Summer is one part the tale of a family torn apart but it s also a glimpse into the early days of the Black Panther movement and a reminder of what life was life for African Americans no so very long ago In addition the novel serves as a glimpse into the mind of a perceptive moral and very intelligent young girl who is wise beyond her years and who Ormen i Essex knows it s because she has to beAnd as for Cecile I have to agree with Delphine s sentiment on the first day of meeting her mother in Oakland I didn t want to say Big Ma was right Cecile was noind of mother Cecile didn t want us Cecile was crazy I didn t have to view spoilerThe poet formerly nown as Cecile Johnson seethes with revolutionary fervor admittedly essential for social change I get that But no mother should tell her children to their faces that she should have aborted them even if she harbors that feeling in her heart And no one man nor woman should feel that the only way to assist the revolution is by criminally neglecting his or her children Ruth First and Joe Slovo managed
lead the struggle in South Africa without abandoning their children like unwanted ittens I think Nzila nee Cecile could have followed the example of Ruth First who was feeling the same pulls between family and justice during the same yearsDid her only terrible abusive upbringing justify a selfishness that led her to abandon three CHILDREN ONE STILL ON THE BREAST BECAUSE SHE COULDN one still on the breast because she couldn get her own way Cecile may think so but I can t agree even if she succeeds at least partially in gaining Delphine s sympathy hide spoiler Well that gave me a whole lotta feels I have mixed feelings about this book It does several things successfully Sister relationships Bare It All (Love Undercover, kids who have to take on extra responsibility at a young age homeless teens and political action in America in the 1960s And all within a palatable mid elementary storyline I worry though thatids far removed from that time and place will somehow get the picture that the black panthers condoned abandoning your children The panther characters in this book seem angry dogmatic and tone deaf to the needs of the actual people in front of them other than food The reasons for their political movement and the history behind them are only briefly touched upon The ending also implies that everything is now okay Delphine s mother may have told the story of her hard life it explains but does not erase the hardness she has shown her girls While reading I An Elusive Victorian kept making connections to the memoir by Alice Walker s daughter who wrote about living between two worlds coasts and parents I also have to admit that I can t help reading stories like this through my own experience of airline shuttling with siblings to parents whose attention was elsewhere riding buses to pools and stores and other parts of the city alone at 8 and 11 It sounds free and adventurous and full of potential glamour but forids under certain age it just feels unmoored We didn t come here for the revolution In turbulent 1968 three little girls fly to Oakland to reunite with the mother who abandoned them years before Instead of being greeted at the airport with tears and hugs they are met by an indifferent woman who sees their presence not as a chance to get reacuainted but as an interruption to her life I didn t send for you Didn t want you in the first place Should have gone to Mexico to get rid of you when I had the chance She orders them to stay out of her A Bird in the House kitchen and banishes them from the When I heard that teen author Rita Williams Garcia had written a middle grade novel forids I wasn t moved one way or an. Visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer campIn a humorous and breakout book by Williams Garcia the Penderwicks meet the Black Panthe.to lead the
Rita Williams-Garcia õ 1 FREE READIttle girls across the country to spend an unsupervised summer with a woman they new full well had not one ounce of motherly love The story definitely had it s moments of triumph like when Delphine was finally allowed in the itchen to cook a regular meal for her sisters the day trip into San Francisco or when Fern ratted out Crazy Kelvin with her poem I was just so overwhelmed with dislike for Cecile and anger at Delphine s lot to enjoy this story as I should have Could it be that that was the pointAt any rate I don t think Cecile deserved that hug at the end Surely not I do not ordinarily read middle grade books unless I am sharing them with my grandson but I was drawn to this beautiful book initially because of its subject matter children in Oakland during the early days of the Black Panther Party But this book is so much than its historical setting I fell head over heels in love with the narrator of this book Delphine and her younger sisters Vonetta and Fern With a group here on Goodreads I recently reread the wonderful short story collection Gorilla My Love by Toni Cade Bambara We all loved Bambara s strong resilient African American girls and Delphine is certainly a full fledged member of that
#Sisterhood Smart Brave And #Smart brave and far beyond her age of 11 going on 12 Delphine has looked after her younger sisters along with her father and Big Ma since her mother abandoned the family seven years earlier When Pa decides that the girls need to get to The Last Imaginary Place know their mother they travel to Oakland where they encounter a very different mother than the one they pictured Their experiences in Oakland with their mother CecileNzila are perfectly related through through Delphine s eyes Part of Williams Garcia s brilliance is that sheeeps Delphine s point of view but through Delphine we come to now her sisters the political climate of the time and the other characters in the book including Although no one would argue that CecileNzila anything but a truly terrible mother Williams Garcia through Delphine gives us a glimpse of the reasons behind her actions and we are able to feel compassion for her no small achievementThere is no neat happy conclusion to this story and it would not be believable if there were But there is growth on everybody s part and there is greater understanding And above all there are Delphine Vonetta and Fern beautiful wonderful girls that I will never forget Yes this is a middle grade novel but it is so richly layered and beautifully written that I suspect that many readers of all ages will treasure this book Many thanks to Rita Williams Garcia for Delphine Vonetta and Fern and this dazzlingly beautiful book This is one of those one chapter and then I lclean the itchen throw some clothes in the washer take a shower etc ind of books I loved it I think Rita Williams Garcia is a fantastic writer and she derserves all the awards and honors she got for this book This is the first book of hers book I ve read but it won t be the last The story is fascinating 3 girls travel to California during the summer of 1968 to stay with the mother who abandoned them years before and the setting is atmospheric I loved reading about the Black Panthers and even hearing the names of TV shows brought back memories of my childhood I had just turned 4 during the summer of 1968 All three girls are delightful but the oldest Delphine is especially strong smart sassy and funny Her maturity and her relationship with her younger sisters is
inspiring I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages ItI highly recommend this book to readers of all ages It 1968 and 11 year old Delphine Gaither has her hands full playing mother to her two little sisters 9 year old Vonetta and 7 year old Fern She lives in Brooklyn with her father and his prim old fashioned mother called Big Ma Where s the girls mother Cecile Johnson abandoned the family before Delphine turned 5 Now Pa thinks the three Gaither girls should spend a month this summer with their long lost mother in Oakland California And it will be one crazy summerYou see Cecile now going by the revolutionary name of Nzila is much devoted to her poetry and the Black Panther led revol. 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. Loved it fun read and perfect for young girls and boys i wish i had this ind of book when i was a Jean-Paul Sartre kid but i m contentnowing that my daughter does by the end as an adult reader i had the warm fuzzies Wow what a trip as we used to say back in 68 Did this ever bring me back to the summer of 1968 I was not an African American eleven year old girl visiting Oakland but I was a fourteen year old white Jewish
across the living in San Francisco There was a chapter that takes place in San FranciscoSo the author got one thing wrong about Oakland no there are no hills at all in that part of town and maybe one thing about San Francisco wrong I don t think there were palm trees in that location but I could have just forgotten I suppose Otherwise much of the locale and time period seemed authenticThis story definitely fits on my orphaned and uasi orphaned ids shelfI really liked Delphine the narrator at 11 going on 12 and the oldest of 3 sisters who live in Brooklyn New York with their father and paternal grandmother and who go to visit their birth mother in Oakland a woman who abandoned them when they were very youngI thought most of the story rang true abandoned them when they were very youngI thought most of the story rang true was a bit on the edge of seeming realistic at times yet so was my life at a certain point in time so I bought it The ending seemed not uite right but I can think of many other endings that would have worked even less well I am glad that Delphine got some answers very glad and nowing what Delphine learns does give credence and depth to what happened with this family and why Cecile did what she did and why she was the person she became I love the sisters relationships with one another especially how the oldest is most irritated by her middle sister but feels as though she Zamba knows her well compared to how she loves her little sister even though she s a bit of a mystery to her and then how the two youngest fight with one another it all seemed very genuine The narrator really got across what it felt like to be a minority She counts other African American then going by black or colored people in various locations I ve been a minority only a few times including two school experiences but during those I definitely noted who else was like me and was highly aware of my minority statusThis is a fine book forids who enjoy historical fiction novels with a bit of adventure and novels with a believable child narrator The story is sad in many ways but it isn t depressingI read this now because I think the Children s Books group is going to read this book as one of their January selections It s got uite a long hold list at the library so I read it as soon as I was able to get a copyEdited to add Oh and this book is very funny Important topic YesWriting FabulousCharacters EngagingNewbery material Well I suppose since adults are the ones to vote then yes Probably But if The Erotic Motive in Literature kids were voting I m not sure this book would make the Newbery radar I started reading it to myids and ended up finishing it myself Normally when The Detour kids have an awful self centered mother or parent figure in children s literature there is a candy house or 7 little men to make up for it Not so in this book Cecile never seemed to come around to her own flesh and blood Iept thinking there d be a point where she would wake up and develop a shred of human decency but she didn t And maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was an oldest child who was given responsibility for my younger siblings I didn t always want but poor 11 year Delphine being forced to take over thegirl across the
Roll Of Mother To Herof mother to her little sisters really boiled my blood Not fair Her responsible nature was exploited at the expense of her childhood I realize I m missing the point the story was trying to make about the unfair struggles that went on in the black community in Oakland in the 70 s Maybe the idea was for the reader to draw the parallel between the unfairness of Delphine having the world s suckiest mom and the unfairness of the African American person s daily struggle to be treated civilly and with human decency Both situations were maddening and made no senseHow could Pa and Big Ma send their three In the summer of 1968 after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland California to spend a month with the mother they barely now eleven year old Delphine and. .