Posts tagged Newbery Honor Winner
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
It’s the summer of 1968, and three sisters, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, are shipped off from their Brooklyn home to Oakland, California, to visit their mother, who abandoned them seven years ago. Their father thought it was time for them to get to know their mother. When they arrive, it’s not the normal hugs and kisses you would get from a mother, but a cold indifference. Their month-long California vacation is not off to a good start. No Disneyland. No movie stars. Their mother is veiled in mystery that the girls try to solve. As the oldest (11 years old), Delphine needs to help her sisters make the best of their situation.
With an uncaring tone that says she can’t be bothered, the mother gives the girls money for food (they’re absolutely NOT allowed to go in the kitchen) at the local Chinese restaurant and they’re sent to the People’s Center for breakfast. It is there that the girls reluctantly (on Delphine’s part) and happily (on Vonetta and Fern’s part) get involved in classes run by the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary organization that fights for Black Power. Throughout the days of their visit, they become more involved than they realize. (more…)
Fourteen-year-old Manjiro is full of questions, questions that irritate the elder fishermen. Manjiro must learn his place, but Manjiro dreams of one day becoming a samurai. That dream is impossible though, because he comes from a family of fishermen and that’s all he thinks he will ever be.
It is 1841, and Japan is the greatest country in the world, so they say. Stories are told of the horrible beasts that inhabit the West. When Manjiro and his fellow fishermen are swept out to sea in a great storm, they are fearful of not being able to go home and worst of all…meeting the barbarians. They eventually are stranded on Bird Island, so named for the thousands of albatross that nest there. They are stranded on this island for six months, with no hope in sight, until one day a monstrous ship appears on the horizon. The barbarians have come.
Manjiro is more curious than afraid of these strangely dressed and unclean people of the John Howland. They are taken on board, but Manjiro’s companions want nothing to do with these people who will corrupt their ways. Manjiro soon joins the crew and finds out that the John Howland is an American whaling ship. Because he is different and speaks differently, there is prejudice on board; however, most become friends with him. His greatest relationship is with the Captain, who later becomes a father figure to him. (more…)