One Crazy Summer has nothing to do with One Crazy Summer. I haven't seen the movie, but it sounds really horrible. Regardless, the two are not related at all.
I have the sinking feeling that this is 1954 all over again. OCS was a Newbery Honor book, you see. An HONOR book, which means that it didn't win the Newbery. However I haven't read the Newbery, Moon Over Manifest, but I can't imagine it is better than OCS. This book is fantastic. Unreal fantastic. Hilarious. Heart-breaking at times. Real. Amazing.
I knew very little about the Black Panthers, I am ashamed to admit. I do know some about Malcolm X and how his ideals helped to shape those of the Panthers. This is one of the best books that I read during my seminary education and, sadly, pretty much all I know about Malcolm X. If that's all I know about Malcolm X, and I know more about him than the Black Panthers, then you know the serious limits of my knowledge. I read articles and little things here and there, the World Book entries, the wikipedia, that kind of thing, but I haven't studied the Civil Rights Movement in depth and I am truly sorry that I haven't done that yet.
OCS isn't an in-your-face history lesson, though. Yes, it is about the Black Panthers, primarily set in Oakland, CA and the main characters attend the Free Breakfast Program. We learn about what happened to Lil Bobby Hutton. But it's not text book and it isn't the story of OCS. The story belongs to Delphine. Twelve years old, she and her little sisters are sent to Oakland for twenty-eight days, to stay with their mother, a poet with marginal ties to the Panthers, who left them when the littlest girl, Fern was just a baby in her arms. The sisters' father and grandmother are back home in NYC. This is a beautiful story of family and love. Delphine is the kind of daughter you would love to have, sadly, her mom really needs to learn more about being a mother, but you get the sense that she may be trying. There is a lot of hope in this book. Fantastic.
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.