One Crazy Summer – by Rita Williams-Garcia

Interest Level:  Grade 4-7      

DRA Level: n/a  

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

Summary : 

“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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s