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One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-GarciaOne Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad/Harper Collins, 2010) - 218 pages + Discussion Questions on the Black Panthers and the novel

This is an amazing and beautifully written story, written from the protagonists' child-eye view. Three Brooklyn sisters travel one summer to Oakland, California, to meet their mother, who abandoned them. Through their eyes, we learn about the emotional issues involved in the experience of loving and taking part in social struggle, and about the activities the Black Panther movement developed in poor neighborhoods in the 1960s.

"I only hoped that, like last year's Coretta Scott King honorees, I'd give light and life to an overlooked, undersappreciated, and often misrepresented period in our nation's history. And to do that, I followed as Delphine, Vonetta, Fern and Hirohito lead me in all the right ways." (Excerpt from Rita Williams-Garcia's Acceptance Speech for the Coretta Scott King Author Award)

  • Audiobook One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-GarciaCassius Claydoc Read the beginning of the novel worddoc (1 page) It's the first 600 words of the chapter "Cassius Clay Clouds", pages 1-3.
  • doc Audiobook excerpt (youtube): Listen external link from to "We had watched airplanes lift up and fly off into blue sky as we neared the airport." (page 3) to "All three of us had butterflies." (page 5)
  • doc Watch! Rita Williams-Garcia talks about her book external link (7 minutes)
  • doc Read a 250-word book review by the Compulsive Reader external link: notice the content distribution in its two paragraphs: the title is descriptive (title + author), the first paragraph is mostly factual info, the second is a more personal assessment, and the closing sentence is the "recommendation" and could constitute a paragraph of its own. These are the structural and content requirements in any review.

Rita Williams-GarciaCheck out Rita Williams-Garcia website, or this particular webpage devoted to One Crazy Summer external link, where you will find videos, more info, and a link to an audio by the author presenting the novel external link too (less than 3 minutes).

You can also find her on Facebook. This Like Page is for her books external link. I got her pic from here.

Here is some info about the historic Black Panther movement: their Ten Point Plan external link

More related information...

Last night (Aug 31, 2013) I (michelle) just watched a 2011 documentary entitled the Black Power Mixtape (1967-75) external link, directed by a man from Norway, Göran Hugo Olsson, and I also recommend it, for the extend to which it will enlighten your mind! There is a powerful deeply moving and lucid argumentation by Angela Carter while she was being interviewed in prison (1972, I think) about violence. Watch the trailer and in minute 1.08 you can hear part of what she explains.

Books: Rosa Parks: My Story