P. S. Be Eleven
P. S. Be Eleven

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Series: Gaither Sisters Trilogy Vol. 2   

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Annotation: The Gaither sisters are back in Brooklyn, where changes large and small come to their household as they grow up during the turbulent 1960s.
Catalog Number: #95095
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 274 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-193864-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-85229-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-193864-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-85229-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013021814
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Delphine and her sisters have returned from their mother's (One Crazy Summer), but home in Bedford-Stuyvesant has become tricky. Pa has a new "lady friend"; their uncle returns from Vietnam greatly changed; and Delphine's sisters have learned to stand up for themselves. Williams-Garcia brilliantly gets to the very heart of Delphine and each of her family members, creating complex, engaging, and nuanced characters.
Publishers Weekly
Delphine and her sisters return to Brooklyn from visiting their estranged mother, Cecile, a poet who sent them off every day to a camp run by the Black Panthers in Williams-Garcia-s Newbery Honor-winning One Crazy Summer. It wasn-t the California vacation they expected, but the experience rocked their world. Big Ma, their grandmother, is no longer just a stern taskmaster, she-s an oppressor. Delphine, who again narrates, loses interest in magazines like Tiger Beat and Seventeen: -When there-s Afros and black faces on the cover, I-ll buy one,- she tells a storeowner. Reflecting society at large in 1968, change and conflict have the Gaither household in upheaval: Pa has a new girlfriend, Uncle Darnell returns from Vietnam a damaged young man, and the sixth-grade teacher Delphine hoped to get has been replaced by a man from Zambia. Though the plot involves more quotidian events than the first book, the Gaither sisters are an irresistible trio. Williams-Garcia excels at conveying defining moments of American society from their point of view-this is historical fiction that-s as full of heart as it is of heartbreak. Ages 8-12. (June)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 4&11;7&12; After their life-changing summer in Oakland with their poet-activist mother, related in One Crazy Summer (HarperCollins, 2010), sisters Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern find it difficult to readjust to life in Brooklyn. In addition to their grandmother's strict expectations, the girls must navigate the return of their uncle from Vietnam, their father's new romantic relationship, and their own uncontrollable love for the Jackson Five. Delphine finds some solace in corresponding with her mother, who reminds her not to take on too much or try to grow up too fast; instead she should remember to be 11. But each adult in Delphine's life has a different idea of what that means. Over the course of the book, Delphine strives to balance these conflicting perspectives and to articulate her own beliefs. From the very start of the story, her well-realized voice pulls readers into her rapidly changing world. Williams-Garcia ably integrates historical information with Delphine's story. Even secondary characters are complex and her nuanced understanding of the 1960s brings the setting to life. P.S. Be Eleven is a must-read for fans of the first book, but it can also stand alone as an engrossing novel that will leave readers pondering important issues of race, gender, and identity.&12; Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Readers will cheer the return of the three sisters who captured hearts in the Newbery Honor–winning One Crazy Summer (2010). The sequel finds sisters Delphine, Vonetta and Fern returning to their Brooklyn home, full of excitement about visiting their mother in Oakland, Calif. The girls, especially Delphine, are also eager to begin a new school year. However, home is a little different: Their father has a girlfriend, the teacher Delphine had been eagerly expecting has exchanged places with one from Zambia, and their beloved Uncle Darnell is returning home from Vietnam. But their favorite singing group, the Jackson Five, is coming to town, too. With the help of their father's girlfriend, Miss Hendrix, the girls set out to save to attend the concert. Through all of their experiences, Delphine uses her new connection with her mother to understand things, questioning, challenging and reaching for a mother's guidance. Whenever she pushes a bit too hard, Cecile's tart, repeated advice to "be eleven"--even when she turns 12--resonates. Williams-Garcia's skilled writing takes readers to a deeper understanding of Delphine as she grows up and is forced to watch her family take a new shape. Disappointments are not glossed over, even when they involve heartbreaking betrayal. This thoughtful story, told with humor and heart, rings with the rhythms and the dilemmas of the '60s through characters real enough to touch. (Historical fiction. 9-14)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The Gaither sisters lphine, Vonetta, and Fern e newly returned from a summer spent in California with their mother, Cecile, and the Black Panthers (One Crazy Summer, 2010). But life in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, with Big Ma and Pa is nothing like the freedom of Oakland, even if the girls carry back independent streaks. And while their summer may have been crazy, autumn is not exactly tame: Pa's wearing cologne and whistling now that he has a girlfriend; Uncle Darnell's back from Vietnam but sleeps a lot; and sixth grade has a new Zambian exchange teacher, Mr. Mwilla. Delphine speaks her worried mind in letters to Cecile, who always adds a postscript, reminding Delphine to "Be Eleven" and not a grown-up. (This makes for a nice recurring sentiment, if a somewhat clunky title.) Set against the tumultuous, yet vibrant, backdrop of the late 1960s Nixon campaigns against Humphrey and the Jackson Five are poised to play Madison Square Garden e story is vividly narrated by Delphine, who reluctantly learns to ease control over her sisters and comes to a tough realization: "Twelve makes you know better than to wish for things that only eleven would wish hard for." Even without the dynamic Black Panther characters, this soars as a finely drawn portrait of a family in flux and as a memorable slice of a specific time in our nation's history. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Williams-Garcia's One Crazy Summer (2010) won the Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award and was a National Book Award finalist. A robust marketing campaign includes author appearances.
Word Count: 53,593
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 158513 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.7 / points:12.0 / quiz:Q60751
Lexile: 770L
Guided Reading Level: X
Fountas & Pinnell: X

The Gaither sisters are at it again! A sequel to the Newbery Honor Book One Crazy Summer, this Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel will find a home in the hearts of readers who loved Brown Girl Dreaming and As Brave as You.

After spending the summer in Oakland, California, with their mother and the Black Panthers, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern arrive home with a newfound streak of independence. That doesn't sit well with Big Ma, who doesn't like the way things are changing.

Neither does Delphine. Pa has a new girlfriend. Uncle Darnell comes home from Vietnam, but he's not the same. And her new sixth-grade teacher isn't the fun, stylish Miss Honeywell—it's Mr. Mwila, a stern exchange teacher from Zambia.

But the one thing that doesn't change during this turbulent year is the advice that Delphine receives from her mother, who reminds her not to grow up too fast. To be eleven while she can.

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