One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia | Book Review

one crazy summer

 

One Crazy Summer is a middle grade book that tells the story of the three Gaither sisters Delphine, Vonetta and Fern. In the late 60s during the summer they go to Oakland to visit their mother, Cecile who had previously abandoned them. She’s very unwelcoming to them, viewing them as a distraction from her work. They eventually go to a Black Panther camp. The book is told from the older sister, Delphine’s point of view who has to take care of her younger sisters.

When I was suggested One Crazy Summer, it sounded like something that I would definitely enjoy reading. So I was very happy to get my hands on a copy. I was also impressed by the medals on the cover. And they are definitely deserved, the Gaither girls story is a great read.

I don’t know much about the black panthers so I can’t say how accurate everything is. But the thing is, at least in my opinion, the book doesn’t go into that much detail about the subject. This is one of the books flaws but it’s nothing major.

As for the characters, they were good overall. It was a great experience being in Delphine’s head. Fern was very cute and funny, Vonetta on the other was pretty forgettable. As for Cecile, she was horrible throughout most of the book and I didn’t completely get her, even when everything ended.

So One Crazy Summer has a few flaws but altogether it’s a great book, and I could see kids finding it entertaining (it’s perfect to use for schools) as well as adults.  4/5

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Kindred by Octavia Butler | Book Review

kindred

Kindred is a science fiction book about a modern day black woman (modern as in 70s) who keeps getting sent back and forth between her time and slave times. Each time she has to save the son of a slavemaster named Rufus from life threatening situations he keeps getting in. Every time she returns and as Rufus gets older her experiences become more and more dangerous.

I’ve seen the book classified under science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction or just literature. It doesn’t really have that much of a sci-fi feel, someone who doesn’t like or read that genre could probably enjoy it. I’ve hardly read any science fiction (though I’m thinking of reading more) and still loved it.

 The book is a quick and exciting read but has many deep themes about things like race, women, history and more. Kindred was definitely a great read, I now consider it one of my hall of fame books. I can’t say Dana’s first person voice was anything unique but the story itself and the emotion of it are what makes it great.

Dana’s odd relationship with Rufus is the best part about the book. Their relationship was not romantic or anything but it was intense. It probably would have been interesting if Dana had developed romantic feelings for Rufus but hated him at the same time but I understand why this wasn’t the case.

Also the cover on this edition doesn’t do the book justice at all. 5/5

Note: I posted this review before on my old blogger site called sadiereads, I changed to this one awhile ago.