P.S. Be Eleven
By Rita Williams-Garcia
Harper Collins, 2013. 274 pages. Historical fiction.
This story picks up right where One Crazy Summer (2010) left off. It's the sixties, and the three young Gaither sisters (Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern) are returning to their father's home in Brooklyn after spending a crazy summer in Oakland with their Black Panther mother. The girls arrive home and find that things are in upheaval there, too. Their father is dating a new woman, their grandmother is as old-fashioned and strict as their mother was laid back and careless, and their Uncle Darnell is home from Vietnam a changed man. Delphine, the eldest, struggles with these home issues as she comes of age in a time of great social change. Her journey is powerful, but full of heart and humor. I really loved how the story was punctuated by her sisters' silliness and their gleeful obsession with the Jackson Five. Williams-Garcia could have another Newbery honor here! This novel is meticulously researched and highly readable.