91 pages 3 hours read

Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy Summer

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2010

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Chapters 1-4Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary: “Cassius Clay Clouds”

Eleven-year-old Delphine Gaithers is on a plane to Oakland, California, with Vonetta and Afua, her two younger sisters. Afua goes by the nickname Fern. The three sisters are traveling to see Cecile, the mother who abandoned them when Fern was a baby. Before their flight, Big Ma, the girls’ grandmother, met another African-American woman in the airport waiting area and asked the woman to watch over the girls during their flight. However, Delphine still assumes responsibility for her younger sisters. Like Big Ma, Delphine does not think the trip is a good idea, and she still has not forgiven her mother for abandoning their family. Entrusted with just over $200, her father’s work number, and an admonition not to allow the girls to make a “grand Negro spectacle of [themselves]” (2), Delphine feels both excitement and fear as she watches the clouds pass by the airplane windows.

Chapter 2 Summary: “Golden Gate Bridge”

Although many people believe she is mature for her age, Delphine cannot help but get excited when the pilot announces that the plane is nearing the Golden Gate Bridge. Stuck in the middle seat, Delphine encourages Vonetta to look out at the bridge from her window seat, but Vonetta just pouts.