One Book, One City for Kids


Thanks for participating in One Book, One City for Kids 2015. Check back this winter for more information about One Book, One City for Kids 2016. Want to read the book early? Check out a copy of Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

One Crazy Summer

Read With Us!

One Book, One City for Kids is a cool reading program that tries to get all the 5th graders in one city (Grand Rapids) to read one book (One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia).

Even if you’re not a 5th grader, we’ll let you read the book. If you would like to hear the book read aloud to you, the library has an audiobook you can check out.

What happens in the book?

Eleven-year-old Dephine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.

When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile is nothing like they imagined. She wants nothing to do with them. She forbids them to enter her kitchen, never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends the girls to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education about the country, their family, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.

Learn a little bit about the author

Rita WIlliams-Garcia writes books for kids and teens. She was born in Queens, New York on April 13, 1957. Rita grew up in the 1960s, which inspired the stories she writes today.

What happens Next?

If you’re reading One Crazy Summer, you’re in luck! Rita Williams-Garcia wrote a sequel called P.S. Be Eleven. Check it out at the library.

Events in your city

Enter a contest, film a book trailer, meet the author of One Crazy Summer, and more!

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