March 17th, 2010

reading ladders

one crazy summer

Another glorious spring day here. We went out for lunch and then to pick up some bagels and other necessities. Back home in time to read some more. Here is a book getting, deservedly, terrific reviews.

It is the summer of 1968 and Delphine and her sisters are sent from NY to California to stay with their mother, someone they have not seen since shortly after their youngest sister was born. Nzilla, as Cecile is known now, is a poet with ties to the Black Panthers. She does not want her daughters in her life and makes that abundantly clear. She orders Delphine to take her sisters out to grab breakfast and take summer "classes" from the Panthers. At first, Delphine is resistant. But as the days pass by, Delphine develops a growing respect for the Panthers and a deeper understanding about her mother. At turns funny, frightening, and informative, Williams-Garcia never lets history or setting get in the way of her characters, each of them drawn carefully. Short chapters make this perfect for reading aloud and for reluctant readers.
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