One Crazy Summer Plot

One Crazy Summer Plot
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One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Lesson Plans by Liane Hicks

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia is the first book in a trilogy about the Gaither sisters: Delphine, Vonettam, and Fern as they grow up during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. They leave their loving father and grandmother in Brooklyn and travel to Oakland, California to spend a month with the mother they've never known. They wind up with an education about the Black Panther Party, racism, unjust arrests, and the power of community coming together to fight injustice.

One Crazy Summer

Storyboard Description

Create a plot diagram for One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia.

Storyboard Text

  • The Gaither sisters, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, were raised by their father and grandmother in Brooklyn, NY. But this summer, their father decides it's time they get to know their mother, who abandoned them 7 years ago and lives in California.
  • Delphine and her sisters are both excited and apprehensive about their trip to California. They have dreams of seeing Disney Land and movie stars but also worry about how they'll interact with the mother they barely know.
  • Their mother is even colder than they'd imagined. Cecile (or Nzila, as she calls herself) is harsh and sends the girls to the Black Panther-run People's Center every day for a kids summer camp so that she has peace and quiet to write her poetry.
  • The sisters return from an excursion to San Francisco to see their mother arrested for the poems she has written about injustice and racism. They see the oppression they have been learning about and it sparks a desire to do more to help their community.
  • The Black Panthers hold a "People's Rally" to protest racial injustice and promote social services. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern recite their mother's poem "I Birthed a Black Nation" to a large crowd. Afterwards, little Fern recites her own original poem and Nzila and the reader can see a "poet is born."
  • Nzila talks to Delphine about her past and the girls begin to understand more about their mother. While their relationship is still complicated, they part feeling closer than ever. Fern initiates a hug at the airport which is what Delphine realizes is the one thing they couldn't leave without.
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