Hello again! Sorry for the delay, the month of February is just screaming by! For this entry I decided to look at Rita Williams-Garcia who won the Coretta Scott King Honor Author for Like Sisters on the Homefront. I read another title by her, One Crazy Summer.
This is a story of three sisters, Delphine (11), Vonetta (9), and Fern (7). These three girls travel to see their mother, Cecile (Nzila), in Oakland, California in the summer of 1968. Cecile abandoned her daughters shortly after Fern was born and moved to California to write her poetry and has become involved with the Black Panther movement, although she remains mostly on the fringes. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern don’t know their mother and although they hope that this trip will forge some kind of bond between them that has been missing all these years, Delphine in particular does not have her hopes up.
Rita Williams-Garcia weaves a fun and beautiful story about the relationships between sisters, mothers and daughters, and the social reform that was occurring in California at this time. As outsiders to the movement, and raised by a family of Southern Blacks, the girls have an outsiders view of the Black Panther movement and the effects it had on the youth of the community. Although it deals with some tough topics (abandonment, social issues, and white/black relationships) this book has found a balance in both humor and seriousness. The sister’s relationship and the way they talk to each other is fun to read and fun to interpret.
I would recommend this book to people interested in the 1960’s social reform movement or anyone looking for a good book about family relationships. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Author: Rita Williams-Garcia
Title: One Crazy Summer
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books, New York, New York