Last night I finished ONE CRAZY SUMMER by Rita Williams-Garcia. Set during the Civil Rights movement, ONE CRAZY SUMMER tells the story of three sisters who are sent to California to stay with their mom for the summer. Their mom does not want them there, but the girls' grandparents, who are raising them, have decided "it's time" for them to spend some time with her. This is a middle grade book told from the story of the older girl, Delphine, who is barely in double digits yet clearly used to taking care of her little sisters. Being at her mother's house is no different, she has to get food for their meals and keep the girls away from their annoyed mother as much as possible, so they begin going to a local community center program every day. The program teaches them to be part of the revolution, part of the solution in the civil rights movement. They are small activists spreading flyers for a big rally and learning about the leader of the Black Panther party and other prominent activists. These activities are a far, far cry from their home life in small town Alabama, and it truly becomes a summer of transformation for the girls, their mother, and even the country. A wonderful read and an enlightening glimpse into a turbulent time in our country's history told through a child's limited understanding. Congratulations to Rita Williams-Garcia.
Today was my teaching day out at the elementary school. It was great fun, as always. I am so uplifted and inspired by these incredible 2nd graders. They are doing some great writing with a lot of heart and enthusiasm. The teachers are doing a terrific job of capitalizing on that enthusiasm, as well. There's such a magical element to a class full of students working together toward a common goal be it brainstorming a story idea or editing. The group dynamic is such a critical part of the learning process and a fun part, too.
And nothing stimulates my creativity like working to stimulate theirs. So writers, artists of all kinds, want to get fired up? Pass your craft on to a bunch of children. It's rewarding for you, and you'll sow valuable seeds.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.