One Crazy Summer invites readers to inhabit a distinct time and place: tumultuous 1968, Oakland, California, as experienced by Delphine, an 11-year-old Black girl from Brooklyn, New York, who is sent with her two younger sisters to reconnect with the mother who left them 7 years earlier. We’ll consider the genre of historical fiction: how a different era speaks to us; in what ways the same story would be different and/or similar if it were set in our time period; how we might feel challenged by racially charged language that would be offensive today; what do we bring to the book as readers in 2020? We’ll also discuss the relationship of the sisters; how their bonds are tested and shifted by so many unsettling situations; how their mother’s resistance to traditional maternal behavior affects each of the girls differently; do we find ourselves judging their mother negatively or respecting her independence? As we assess the emotional growth and political education set in motion by this “one crazy summer,” we’ll also find ourselves laughing as we discover the great humor embedded throughout the book. Participants will receive a reading syllabus, grouping the chapters into 4 sequential discussion units for Monday through Thursday. Our final meeting day, Friday, will include an overarching appraisal of the book, plus each book club member will read a few prepared sentences summarizing how, and if, their understanding and feelings about the book were impacted by our collaborative discussions.
Price includes book shipped priority and 5 half hour Zoom discussion sessions.