Thursday, March 1, 2012

One Crazy Summer

Last week I finished reading Rita Williams-Garcia's One Crazy Summer.  I was hoping this was a book for seventh graders to fill a current gap in our reading curriculum.  Currently, we have no books that cover racial tensions (Holocaust literature exception).  Topic wise--I think this book fills that need.  I do, however, think the reading level is a little too easy for the second half of the seventh grade year.  I've got another idea for a book (and would welcome suggestions) that I need to read.  I need to do this soon since I am sure request for books will be coming around the school soon.

I enjoyed this book for many reasons.  First--there is more to the novel that finger-pointing, in-your-face racism.  It shows another, positive side of the Black Panther movement.  It alludes to how media presents only one side (might be a good transition into media literacy part of curriculum).  It discusses other themes such as what constitutes family, abandonment, sibling relations, friendships, need for independence.

This book has won numerous awards including:
          ***2011 Coretta Scott King Award Winner
          ***2011 Newbery Honor Book
          ***2011 Scott O’Dell Prize for Historical Fiction
See Rita Williams-Garcia for more information.

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