Saturday, January 23, 2016
WE'RE NOT IN BROOKLYN ANYMORE!
First they visited their long-lost mother in Oakland in One Crazy Summer, they returned to life with their father in Brooklyn in P.S. Be Eleven, and now the Gaither girls are back--this time visiting their paternal relatives in rural Alabama--in Gone Crazy in Alabama, the third and final installment of the series from award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia.
Much like the previous two novels, Williams-Garcia paints an all-at-once funny, poignant, and unflinchingly realistic look at life in the 1960s for these three young black girls and their family. As their father reminds 12-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters Vonetta and Fern while he's telling them to be on their best behavior, "the South's not like Bed-Stuyvesant and you can't get more southern than Alabama."
And truer words have never been spoken: they get their milk and butter from a cow, the best entertainment is hearing their great-grandmother and great-aunt tell conflicting stories about their decades-long feud, and, perhaps most notably, they experience the very real presence of the KKK. But when a potentially deadly storm strikes, things get even more real as Vonetta goes missing after a fight with her sisters. Will the Gaither girls and their family ever be the same after their time in the deep South?
This historical fiction novel really tells it like it was, and will make a gripping read for 5th to 8th graders, whether or not they've already enjoyed the previous two books in the series.