Interest Level: Grade 4-7
Reading Level: age 9-12
Lexile Measure: 750L
1960s America–Civil Rights Movement, Black Panthers
Sense of belonging / sense of community
Historical fiction (Language Arts–Genres)
Changes and new experiences
African American community/history
“One Crazy Summer” by Rita WIlliams-Garcia is perhaps one of the best juvenile historical fiction novels ever. The story is set in 1968, when three sisters Delphine, eleven years old, Vonetta, nine years old, and Fern, seven years old, go from Brooklyn to Oakland to visit their mother, who left them seven years ago. At first the girls are shocked by their mother’s cold welcome. Their mother, Cecile, sends them to get take out on their own, get breakfast at the community center and attend camp sponsored by the Black Panthers instead of spending time with them. As girls get immersed in the community and the civil rights movement, they get closer to knowing their mother and growing as individuals.
This novel is just amazing, and it’s written in a way that it will keep students’ attention due to its wit, humor and realistic narrative.
For a lesson plan/novel unit go to
Mrs. Lena M. Ed