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Oct 24

Series Saturday - Tween Series - The Gaither Sisters

Posted on October 24, 2018 at 4:00 PM by Lindsey Kult

Gaither Sisters trilogy 1 One Crazy Summer 2 PS Be Eleven 3 Gone Crazy in Alabama

This week's Series Saturday is a trilogy that can be found in our Tween section - The Gaither Sisters Series by Rita Williams-Garcia! The stories follow three sisters and their family during the late 1960's. While the summaries of the books sound almost too intense for a regular late-elementary or middle school student to enjoy reading, they are full of humor and relatable topics - first crushes, sibling squabbles, and summer adventures! They are an excellent way to learn about history and the Civil Rights culture. 

Genre:

Tween, Historical Fiction, Humor, African American Fiction

Location in Howard Miller: 

Tween, TW WILLIAMS-GARCIA

Setting: 

The series takes place in three distinct settings: 
Book 1. California
Book 2. Brooklyn
Book 3. Alabama

Meet the Characters: 

Delphine Gaither is the eldest of the Gaither sisters. She narrates the stories and is the most mature. She cares for and takes care of her two younger sisters. Sometimes she pushes herself too hard and forgets to be a kid! 
Vonetta Gaither is the middle child and she craves the spotlight! She is feisty, outgoing and loves to perform for people. 
Fern (Afua) Gaither is the youngest daughter. She is outspoken and courageous, but really would like to stay close to her doll, Miss Patty Cake. 
Cecile (Nzila) is the girls' mother. She left after Fern was born and moved to California to be a poet. She supports the Black Panthers and does not want to be with her children. When they visit her she sends them to the Black Panthers camp. 
Louis Gaither (Pa) is the girls' father. He lets his mom raise the girls. 
Big Ma is Louis's mother. She raises her grandchildren and tries to teach them how to "fit in". She does not like Cecile nor the beliefs Cecile tries to share with the girls. 
Darnell Gaither is the girls' uncles and Louis's younger brother. He is fighting in Vietnam during the first book, but returns during the second book a changed man. He no longer is fun and goofy, but withdrawn and stays in his room. 

Number in the Series: 

There are 3 books in the series and they probably should be read in order. Click here  to place them on hold. We also have these books available for downloadable audiobooks via OverDrive
  1. One Crazy Summer
  2. P.S. Be Eleven
  3. Gone Crazy in Alabama
Final Word: 

As you can see from the cover of One Crazy Summer these books have received a lot of acclaim and awards! There is barely any room left on the cover for the title! Don't let the heavy themes of this series scare you away from the humor, history, and family values that have made these books beloved by millions. These books are great to read together as a family and can provide parents with a great jumping off point to discuss a period of history that can be difficult to teach to children.