One Crazy Summer


One Crazy Summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia

Delphine and her sisters are in Oakland visiting their estranged mother, but shortly after arriving, she tells them "I didn't send for you. Didn't want you in the first place." It's 1968 and the streets of Oakland are full of men in berets shouting about black power. To keep the girls out of her way, their mother sends them to the local Black Panther day camp, where they learn all about revolution-- even though what they really want to learn about is why their mother doesn't want a relationship with them.

School Library Journal called it "Emotionally challenging and beautifully written."

If your American history curriculum includes teaching about the Civil Rights movement, this would make an excellent choice for a classroom read aloud or a required reading list. Beyond the historical curriculum ties, this book covers challenging subjects and would be a great discussion starter on family relationships, personal responsibility, and ethnic identity. 

We particularly like how this title provides a more nuanced picture of the Black Panther movement, dispelling some incorrect misconceptions about the group and placing it in the larger context of the Civil Rights Movement. Overall, well done!


Awards Won by this book

   -Newbery Award Honor 2011
   -Coretta Scott King Award Winner 2011
   -National Book Award Finalist 2010
   -Junior Library Guild Selection 2010
   -Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction 2010


One Crazy Summer Reading Levels

Interest Level:  Gr. 4-7              DRA Level: 50                    Lexile Measure: 750L
Grade Equivalent: 4.6              Guided Reading:  T


Book Covers for this book

There are two different book covers available for this book.  We can't decide which we like best. They are both adorable and a perfect fit for this book!





One Crazy Summer Lesson / Activity Ideas

Harper Collins, the publisher of this book, has provided a very detailed teacher's guide for this book (shown at right), including 13 detailed discussion questions and a number of extension activities.

To download the Harper Collins PDF (at right), simply click below (you'll have to scroll through the list to find the book title):

One Crazy Summer lesson / activity ideas







This book was an honoree for the prestigious Newbery Award for best children's literature. We have a list of the Newbery Award books. Check them out.


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