When this book begins, it’s the summer of 1968 and Delphine and her two younger sisters are traveling to Oakland, California to see their mom, who left when they were small. They are about to meet all kinds of characters, from the members of the Black Panthers who give out free breakfast to their own mother, a poet, whom they barely know. It is going to be a summer to remember. This is a book that makes you feel, makes you think, and makes you see our world in a new way.
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Librarians Liesel and Gigi introduce the book and talk about how relevant it is today:
Liesel and Gigi discuss the historical context of the book:
Explore the images from Denver Public Library's Western History and Genealogy department on this printable sheet.
They depict members of protest movements at different times in Colorado history. Then, dive into the suggested discussion questions.
Learn more about the Black Panther Party:
- What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party--But Should by Adam Sanchez and Jesse Hagopian from the Zinn Education Project
- Excerpt from the film The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution from PBS Independent Lens
- All Power to All the People from the National Museum of African American History and Culture
- And, here's the encyclopedia article that Liesel found on the Black Panther Party: Black Panther Party by Amy Weber from Salem Press Primary Encyclopedia
Keep the experience going with these activity suggestions
Liesel and Gigi share a sign-making activity:
For more activities, check out this printable sheet.
More books like One Crazy Summer
- P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia - Read these sequels to One Crazy Summer for more up-close-and-personal historical fiction. Follow Delphine and her sisters as they return to Brooklyn in P.S. Be Eleven and then travel to visit family in Alabama in Gone Crazy in Alabama.
- King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender - In a small Louisiana town, a kid named King is grieving his brother, who died unexpectedly. Plus, he’s trying to figure out what to do to help a friend who has run away from home and he’s trying to figure out who he is. Where One Crazy Summer makes the reader think about who gets to tell the story of history, King and the Dragonflies makes you think about who gets to tell the story of your life.
- Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome - More historical fiction. This one is set in 1946 Chicago, where Langston and his father have moved, leaving their home in Alabama. Langston feels like he’s left his whole world behind. Life in the city is fast and scary. But there is one wonderful thing about Chicago--the public library. Unlike the library in Alabama, this one is open to Black people and within its walls, Langston discovers a whole new world. Read this one if you’re going through changes in your life and want Langston to keep you company on the journey.