November Book Club: One Crazy Summer

Our November book (selected by NYCSLA Vice-President Cheryl Wolf) is One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. The NYCSLA book club is dedicated to reading engaging new literature for children and young adults. One Crazy Summer is currently a 2010 National Book Award finalist. Here’s a portion of the starred review in Booklist:

Eleven-year-old Delphine has only a few fragmented memories of her mother, Cecile, a poet who wrote verses on walls and cereal boxes, played smoky jazz records, and abandoned the family in Brooklyn after giving birth to her third daughter. In the summer of 1968, Delphine’s father decides that seeing Cecile is “something whose time had come,” and Delphine boards a plane with her sisters to Cecile’s home in Oakland. What they find there is far from their California dreams of Disneyland and movie stars…. Regimented, responsible, strong-willed Delphine narrates in an unforgettable voice, but each of the sisters emerges as a distinct, memorable character, whose hard-won, tenuous connections with their mother build to an aching, triumphant conclusion.

Please add your comments about November’s pick here! Also, we need your recommendations for future book club selections. Please fill out this simple form to let us know the best new books you’ve read this year, especially titles you have a hunch will show up on Newbery, Printz, or other major award shortlists.

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3 Responses to November Book Club: One Crazy Summer

  1. Melissa A. says:

    I loved this book, particularly the voice of the narrator and all of the details about the time and place. Realistic fiction is not normally my thing, but I was totally wrapped up in Delphine’s story. I do think that Cecile (their mother) was so horrid that it was hard to have too much empathy with her, even with the back story at the end of the book.

  2. Beth D says:

    Hi,

    I’ve just started the book–I’ll post about it later, but
    FYI: the author will be at the Langston Hughes branch of the Queens Library this Saturday, 12/4/10 at 11:15 am for a presentation. This is part of their 2nd annual authors and publishers event. I won’t be able to make it, otherwise I’d look forward to seeing others there.
    The address is 100-01 Northern Blvd, Corona; 718-651-1100.
    Beth D.

    • Beth D. says:

      Just finished the book. Thanks for the recommendation! It was a little slow moving in the beginning, but the characters really began to draw me in a few chapters after the girls arrive in California. The momentum continued throughout the rest of the story. As with Melissa A., I was really wrapped up in Delphine’s story. Her relationships with others were so real.

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