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One Crazy Summer
by Cirenia (Y5C, 2013-14)
One Crazy Summer is a novel written by the US American young adult writer Rita Williams-Garcia. In this novel about an African American family, the author addresses the Black Panthers movement from a child's examination, which focuses also on motherhood.
In the summer of 1968, three young sisters, Delphine, Vonetta and Fern, set out for Oakland, California -- they have to spend a whole summer with their long-lost mother whom they have not seen or heard from for several years. The mother is Cecile – Nzile, as she is known as an artist – a poet who walked out on her daughters after the youngest one was born. Since then, an eleven-year-old Delphine has been looking after her little sisters. As the main character, Delphine shows to be more responsible than someone of her age. During this "crazy summer" the three girls will learn about who their mother is and why the Black Panther movement is so important to her and those around her.
Written in an informal style, because it is Delphine who is telling us the story, the author navigates the waters of two important issues. On the one hand, the Black Panthers social struggle and their impact on childhood and, on a more personal and deeper level, children not getting enough attention from their parents. The great strength of this book is how wonderfully Rita Williams-Garcia tackles the themes. Instead of violence and bad language, the author helps the readers to empathize with the girls' experiences, and follow them with humour, honesty and innocence.
An excellent historical novel that scrambles family, stereotypes and relationships, One Crazy Summer is highly recommended to all of those who are looking for quality reading choices, including children.
2. Introduction. Brief information about author and where and when it is set
3. The plot (main characters)àsummarizing
4. My opinion
5. My recommendation
Brainstorming on language + Useful Language
*Child's eye view
*"the author (successfully) navigates the waters of so many important issues…"ç
*"walked out on"=abandonment
*Empathize (verb)àsympathetic (adjective)
*Set out for = go to
*Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American historical
*Check participle clause
*Check Adverbs to modify another verb: pretty, slightly, deeply
*Set off= leave
*Gripping= que te atrapa
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