One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia is the story of three sisters who travel from their home in Brooklyn, New York to spend a month in Oakland, California with the mother who abandoned them seven years earlier. It’s set in the summer of 1968.
Blaine and I both enjoyed this book. It refers to some of the same historical events as The Rock and the River (such as the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the imprisonment of Huey Newton), which led to some interesting discussions.
Most of all, we found the characters and their personal relationships compelling. (For more on that, see the craft review that I wrote for the Middle Grade Lunch Break blog.)
If you want to read more about the Gaither sisters, Rita Williams-Garcia has also written two sequels: P.S. Be Eleven (set in Brooklyn) and Gone Crazy in Alabama (set in rural Alabama).