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P.S. BE ELEVEN by Rita Williams-Garcia Kirkus Star

P.S. BE ELEVEN

By Rita Williams-Garcia

Age Range: 9 - 14

Pub Date: May 21st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-193862-7
Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

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)