91 pages 3 hours read

Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy Summer

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2010

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Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay.

Differentiation Suggestion: For English learners or struggling writers, strategies that work well include graphic organizers, sentence frames or starters, group work, or oral responses.

Scaffolded Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the below bulleted outlines. Cite details from the text over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. Delphine and her sisters go to Oakland to meet their mother, who is a virtual stranger. All they know is what Big Ma has said about Cecile and what little memory allows them to recall. 

  • How does Delphine’s view of her mother change over the course of the novel? (topic sentence)
  • Compare Delphine’s view of her mother at the beginning of their summer to what she thinks and feels at the end. Provide examples of relevant turning points and interactions that show Delphine’s changes in progress.
  • In your closing sentences, evaluate whether Williams-Garcia’s portrayal of these characters is believable.

2. When she first arrives in Oakland, Delphine has a clear understanding of acceptable behavior for African American people, a lot of it based on how her father and Big Ma have raised her.