One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer

Book - 2010
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In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and 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 visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060760885
Branch Call Number: Fiction Williams CHILD
Characteristics: 218 p.; 22 cm


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From Library Staff

1968 Black Panthers

For: middle grade, first book in series by POC (on hold)

2011 Coretta Scott King award winner, 2011 Scott O'Dell award winner,2011 Newbery Medal nominee

1968. Delphine and her two younger sisters fly to Oakland to spend a month with a mom they never knew. Mom is an activist and makes the kids spend time at a Black Panther camp. A good tale told by an optimistic kid who's trying to figure things out.

From the critics

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Dec 04, 2017

You might want to wear some flowers in your hair, because this book will take you to San Francisco, 1968! The book is peopled with Black Panthers, hippies, and poets of the revolution. But it's not so much a book about history as it is a book about three sisters having a summer adventure, meeting new friends, and forging a relationship with the mother who abandoned them several years earlier. I recommend this book for tweens, teens, and adults--everyone will get something out of it. It's especially good for poetry-lovers, since poetry plays an important part in the story.

Jun 21, 2016

This was a really good book! I thought the author did an excellent job of balancing the historical fiction aspect with the personal life of the main character, Delphine.

Jul 14, 2015

I love this book. It has a very cute story.

Chapel_Hill_TishaW Feb 18, 2015

In the midst of the 1960's and the Civil Rights Movement, three young African-American sisters are flown from Brooklyn, NY to Oakland, CA to spend a month with the poet-mother who abandoned them six years ago. But instead of bonding with her as they had hoped, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are sent to "summer camp" with the Black Panthers. Readers experience the girls' off-the-wall moments through the eyes of Delphine, the responsible eldest sister. This book does an excellent job of addressing differing perspectives and the possibilities for reconciliation--cultural, political, and familial. For a YA book that covers similar ground, try The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon.

nlthoma Oct 03, 2013

Wow! This book was great! What I love about this book is that a large span of ages and grades will find this book enjoyable. Also, I love the historical aspect relating to the Black Panthers that is included.

Feb 10, 2013

This book is a must read parents. I ran across this book simply while looking for chapter books to read for my class, and enjoyed the book to the fullest. I do not really know a lot about the Black Panther movement, but this book gives insight on the movement from the eyes of three sisters. Parents if you want to expose your children to a different era, which you should; this will be a great book for him or her to read. Despite the unfortunate circumstances the girls are in, the see, to make the best of what they have, and where they are.

ggbookreader Jul 30, 2012

Review title: The People's Center Summer Camp.
How would you like to go back in time to the late 1960s and see the world through the eyes of three young girls? Well, you can. Go back to 1968 with an eleven year-old, a nine year-old, and a seven year-old to experience a summer they would remember for a lifetime. Many exciting adventures are in store for the three, and you will learn all about the sights and sounds they discovered as they traveled from the East coast to the West coast. *Informative. *Revealing. *Insightful. **Gives a look into childhood from different perspectives.

ridgerocks1218 Jun 12, 2012

This book was rocking' like crazy!

Jan 11, 2012

Wonderful historical fiction. I feel I learned about a time period while enjoying the story.

Feb 20, 2011

This audio CD was an ALA notable recording for 2010, and it's easy to see why. Narrator Sisi Aisha Johnson creates fantastic voices for the three Gaither sisters, Delphine, Vonetta and Fern. Her narration makes a great story even better, and that much more fun to listen to. Highly recommended.

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Add Age Suitability

orange_cat_2242 Jul 18, 2013

orange_cat_2242 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Feb 10, 2013

jrmccowan thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

blue_dog_52954 Aug 22, 2012

blue_dog_52954 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 13

white_butterfly_199 Jul 22, 2012

white_butterfly_199 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

blue_ant_872 Jul 19, 2012

blue_ant_872 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

white_butterfly_162 Jun 25, 2012

white_butterfly_162 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

red_bird_934 Jun 20, 2012

red_bird_934 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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BarSeeg May 23, 2013

It's been one crazy summer with the mother they hardly even know. Three kids venture to California and met their mom who just happens to be involved in the often violent Black Panthers Movement of the 1960s. How's that for a summer vacation to remember.

Feb 10, 2013

Eleven year old Delphine, and her two younger sisters Vonetta, and Fern were sent from Brooklyn to California to see someone who left them seven years ago; their mother. When the girls arrive in Oakland, California, they realize the women the mother they were so anxious to see wants nothing to do with them for the summer, and sends them off to a day camp sponsored by the Black Panthers. The girls want nothing more than to be loved by someone who walked out on them. Though this book takes place in one of the most horrible times in history this story will gives you some laughs, and cries.


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Jun 21, 2016

“It was a strange, wonderful feeling. To discover eyes upon you when you expected no one to notice you at all.”

Feb 10, 2013

Cecile looked at us, then at the stewardess. I’m Cecile Johnson. These are mine.” “Cecile’s face had no expression.”


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