Gone Crazy in Alabama

by Rita Williams-Garcia

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are sent to rural Alabama to spend the summer of 1969... read more

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are sent to rural Alabama to spend the summer of 1969 with their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Before putting them on the Greyhound bus, their father tells them: “… Once you cross the line from North to South all of that black power stuff is over.” At 12, Delphine is old enough to understand and believes she can keep her younger sisters in line. But 10-year-old Vonetta is enjoying the attention of Ma Charles and her half-sister and life-long rival, Aunt Miss Trotter. The two elderly sisters haven’t spoken to each other in years and dramatic Vonetta is only too willing to serve as a conduit between them as they pass information and insults back and forth, taking advantage of Vonetta’s twin skills of mimicry and showmanship. The girls’ daily trips across the creek to the Trotter home offers them insight into their own family history, and an understanding of their family’s place within a specific rural Southern setting, all of which seems more than a little crazy to Delphine. And this all lays the groundwork for some much-needed family unity when a tragedy strikes. The witty dialogue and singular characterizations that were hallmarks of One Crazy Summer and P. S. Be Eleven continue here, and like its predecessors, this novel offers insights into social history during a pivotal time of change. (Ages 8–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016

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