I’m not quite through, but reading One Crazy Summer, a Newberry Honor Book, winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the Corretta Scott King Award, and a National Book Award Finalist, has been such a positive experience that I’ve ordered the other two books in the “Gaither Sisters Series” by Rita Williams-Garcia.

The Gaither Sisters, travel to Oakland, California, on their first airplane trip, by themselves, to meet the mother who abandoned them to be raised by their father and “Big Ma.” It is a tumultuous time for Oakland, and the girls find their very sophisticated mother involved with the Black Panthers and all the riots and terror in Oakland that summer.

I am only on page eighty, but I have come to empathize with and care about all three girls, from Delphine, the oldest, to Vonetta and Fern, her younger siblings. Cecile, their mother, is “something else,” they discover, who has no motherly instincts and seems put upon to have to host the three girls for the summer. For some reason their father, against Big Ma’s protests, feels it’s time for the girls to get to know their mother, and so, sends them to Oakland, a far cry from their home in New York.

I can hardly wait to read about the girls’ adventures, or maybe misadventures, and whether they get to know their mother or are hastily shuffled back to New York.

This novel promises to be a darned good read.