The One Crazy Summer Trilogy

Good thing the plane had seat belts and we’d been strapped in tight before take-ff. Without them, that last jolt would have been enough to throw Vonetta into orbit and Fern across the aisle. Still, I anchored myself and my sisters best as I could to brace us for whatever came next.

-first sentences of One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

From Amazon: Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She's had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. But when the sisters arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with their mother, Cecile is nothing like they imagined.

While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.

Can I tell you how much I love Delphine and her sisters, cause I surely do!

I finished the second book of this trilogy, P.S. Be Eleven, a few weeks ago (after finishing the third, Gone Crazy in Alabama, last year) and was reminded again of what a treasure these stories and these girls are.

In One Crazy Summer, Delphine and her sisters find themselves flying across the country to spend the summer with the mother who abandoned them soon after the youngest, Fern, was born. Book 2, P.S. Be Eleven follows their return to Brooklyn where they are confronted with everyday life filled with changes that come in big and small sizes. The series concludes with Gone Crazy in Alabama where the girls travel south to visit their Grandma.

Delphine and her sisters have unique and strong voices. All three books are told from Delphine’s perspective, but the voice of her sisters and the impact of their relationship shows up on every page. The historical backdrop of life in the late 60s for people of color is beautifully woven into the life of the girls. While it stays in the background, the impact of the events of that day and time are felt and add to the story in a subtle yet thoughtful way.

The books tackle themes of self-discovery, disappointment and the depth of family ties. The girls are not perfect but that is what makes them so believable and endearing. And funny! Their way of speaking and the way they interact with each other and the world around them is a big part of what makes these books so special.

I love it when a story is so well-told I fall in love with the characters. I love picking up the next book in a series feeling the anticipation of visiting dear friends. The One Crazy Summer Trilogy checks both of these boxes for me and so much more.

If your child:

Allow me to recommend they join Delphine, Vonetta and Fern on their adventures in Oakland, Brooklyn and Alabama. I hope they will enjoy their stories and grow to love these high-spirited girls as much as I do.

Have you read any of the books in this series? What did you think?

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