Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father, and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.
When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education.
Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, One Crazy Summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls in search of the mother who abandoned them—an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.
Join us on Thursday, August 25th at 6:30 in the evening to discuss this exceptional book. Refreshments will be served.
Delana has never known her parents. She has been raised by Grandpa, who doesn’t say much, and Aunt Tilley, who says plenty—just not the things Delana wants to hear. Aunt Tilley’s family stories are wild and not to be trusted, while her Book of the Bewares—including boys, fairs, even peeling a potato—keeps Delana from doing much of anything.
When Aunt Tilley dies, Delana’s world turns topsy-turvy. Her pent-up curiosities start to come out; most important, who is her father, and why did he leave? As Delana unravels her aunt’s fictions and draws out her mysterious grandpa, she’ll discover more than a few surprises. And she just might find her rightful home–in one place she hadn’t thought to look.
This moving story is imagined around antique photographs from the author’s collection. True historical details create a vivid backdrop, while a young girl’s emerging spirit and voice will have readers hoping for a picture-perfect ending.
Join us on Thursday, July 28th at 6:30 in the evening to discuss this unique book. Refreshments will be served.
Zitlally feels so alone. Papa isn’t here anymore to whisper to her in star language. Mama is always on the phone, worried. And Zitlally’s sisters are just as scared as she is. Everyone is thinking about that day.
The day Papa was pulled over for speeding.
The day the police found out that Papa was an immigrant without papers.
The day her family discovered that Papa would be deported.
Zitlally seeks comfort in the forest of rusty car parts behind her family’s trailer. There she finds a dirty, skinny dog with a star-shaped mark on his neck. Soon she realizes Star is no ordinary dog. He’s like the magical animals in the stories Papa has told her. His fate is connected to a human’s fate.
To Papa’s fate.
If Zitlally can keep Star safe, Papa will stay safe too.
When Star disappears, it’s up to Zitlally and her new friend, Crystal, to find him…and save him. Only then can Zitlally be sure that Papa, too, will make his way back home—-and her family will be whole once again.
Join us on Sunday, May 15th at 2:00 when we will discuss this magical story. Refreshments will be served.
Charlie Anne is devastated when her father must go up north to build roads after the Depression hits. She and her siblings are left with their rigid cousin, Mirabel, and a farm full of chores. The only solace Charlie Anne finds is by the river, where the memory of her mother is strongest.
Then her neighbor Old Mr. Jolly brings home a new wife, Rosalyn, who shows up in pants—pants!—the color of red peppers. With her arrives Phoebe, a young African American girl who has also lost her mother. Phoebe is smart and fun and the perfect antidote to Charlie Anne’s lonely days. The girls soon forge a friendship and learn from each other in amazing ways.
But when hatred turns their town ugly, it’s almost more than they can bear. Now it’s up to Charlie Anne and Phoebe to prove that our hearts are always able to expand.
Join us on Sunday, March 27th at 2:00 to discuss this wonderful novel of family and friendship. Refreshments will be served.
Franny Hansen is a ten-year-old piano prodigy living in Rusty Nail, Minnesota. Once the Coot Capital of the World, in 1953 it’s a sleepy backwater farm town with one traffic light and a bizarre cast of characters. Having long exhausted the talents of the town’s crabby piano teacher, Franny is stuck and seems destined to perform only at church events and school assemblies—and watch her talent go to waste. That is, until a mysterious Russian woman arrives in Rusty Nail and turns the town upside down. Her neighbors are convinced the “Commie” is a threat to their American way of life, bur Franny thinks that this stranger could be her ticket out of Rusty Nail. Does she dare defy the town in order to realize her ambitions?
Join us on Sunday, February 27 at 2:00 PM to discuss The Rising Star of Rusty Nail. Refreshments will be served.