Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.
When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education.
Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, one crazy summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls in search of the mother who abandoned them—an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.
The story is tightly centered around the three sisters. In spare, poetic prose Williams-Garcia layers nuanced descriptions and brief, evocative scenes to create three utterly distinctive charactersFern, the youngest, looking out a bus window and singing to herself; the usually brazen Vonetta freezing up with stage fright at a rally; and the stoic Delphine remembering her mother before she left them…In One Crazy Summer Williams-Garcia presents a child's-eye view of the Black Panther movement within a powerful and affecting story of sisterhood and motherhood.