October 22nd, 2014 by Karen
Years ago, I recommended One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. It’s about what happens when Delphine and her two younger sisters travel across the country to Oakland, CA to spend the summer of 1968 with the mother they hardly know.
As you can tell from the title, a lot happens that summer as Delphine and her sisters get into the world of the Blank Panthers and Black Power, which their mother (a poet activist) is involved with. At the end of the summer, Delphine is different — but what happens when they go back home to Brooklyn to their regular lives? The answer is in P.S. Be Eleven.
The sequel picks up right where One Crazy Summer leaves off. The story begins just as Delphine and her sisters land in New York to reunite with their father and grandmother. Right away, it becomes clear that life with Big Ma (their grandma) will be tough now that they’ve had a taste of freedom. Also, their Pa seems changed himself — and soon they find out it’s because he has a serious new girlfriend! Meanwhile, a new teacher at school surprises Delphine and all her classmates, and not necessarily in a good way.
So, life is no picnic for Delphine — but there are good parts too. And the best thing for you is you don’t have to know all the details of One Crazy Summer to enjoy this book. I suggest you check it out first if you’re interested, but you can also read P.S. Be Eleven on its own.
I recommend this book for fans of Christopher Paul Curtis and Walter Dean Myers.
Have you read this book or One Crazy Summer? Leave a comment with your thoughts or submit a full review!
In P.S. Be Eleven, Delphine and her sisters are obsessed with the Jackson Five. When Karen was a kid, she was into the New Kids on the Block, whom you young people have surely never heard of. Have you???