Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 8W4.645483

In this Newbery Honor novel, New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them.

Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She's had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. But when the sisters arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with their mother, Cecile is nothing like they imagined. While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.

This moving, funny novel won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction and the Coretta Scott King Award and was a National Book Award Finalist. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern's story continues in P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama.

Readers who enjoy Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming will find much to love in One Crazy Summer. This novel was the first featured title for Marley D’s Reading Party, launched after the success of #1000BlackGirlBooks. Maria Russo, in a New York Times list of "great kids' books with diverse characters," called it "witty and original."

Published on January 5, 2012 by HarperCollins Childrens Book Group
34 Book Reviews
  • kmchaney
    kmchaneyWednesday, July 1, 2020 at 10:51 am55 stars
    I cant say enough about this must read. Delphine and her sisters will make you laugh, cry ,and cheer them on as they learn about social injustice and standing up for what is right.
    • orangemcdonald
      orangemcdonaldThursday, May 24, 2018 at 11:46 am55 stars
      This book is great! I highly recommend it. It's really good! It's very sedimental and understandable. I love it. I also read the second book. You should read it. : )
      • NatalieThursday, April 6, 2017 at 9:49 am
        This book is the best ever
        • kajunija
          kajunijaThursday, April 6, 2017 at 9:14 am
          Rita Williams- Garcia, the author of One Crazy Summer, Cecile the woman who abandoned her daughters. First the setting is Brooklyn because the daughters and the dad live there. The main characters in One crazy summer are Cecile, the mom, Vonetta, the middle sister, Fern, the younger sister and. Ceclie, the girls mom abandoned them leaving them with their dad and she went to California. I kind of don’t like the book’s style because the chapters are too long and is just like a normal book, there’s no questions because good parts happen. This is my favorite quote of the entire book because is really funny “Cecile Johnson-mammal birth giver, alive, an abandoner-is our mother”
          • dancing23
            dancing23Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 8:59 amFeatured
            Rita Williams -Garcia is the author of one crazy summer . on one crazy summer there's three girls looking for her mom because their mom left them with their dad The setting of the story one crazy summer the tree girls travel to Oakland and California in 1998 to look for their mom. The main characters are the three girls and their mom One thing could be that they are going to go all the way to California to look for their mom and their mom might not know them or love them. My book is find and i like some things and dislike some things like went they are traveling because a long long way and one thing the i like is all the adventure they had because it was fun “ better come on and get loving now “ i think the this quote meaning is to get love now or something like that I feel the this book is really good because all the adventure’s they had i feel like i am in the adventures and i like how important is this trip for them and it really hard for them because they have not seen her mom for a long time.In the story one crazy summer the author made a strong connection with the story.
            • ElvisjrTuesday, April 19, 2016 at 6:14 am
              I think this is going to be a really good book
              • thebeldam_970
                thebeldam_970Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 4:52 pm
                From 1-5 this book is a 4. This is a good,sad and funny book. I almost cried at the end. Great book.
                • mgruening
                  mgrueningTuesday, May 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm
                  I loved this book!!! It was so good and I learned a lot.
                  • acase
                    acaseTuesday, May 5, 2015 at 12:16 pm
                    This was a really good book :-)
                    • kiddieThursday, February 26, 2015 at 2:52 pm
                      i think i love this book because its interesting