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P.S. Be Eleven

P.S. Be Eleven


P.S. Be Eleven

ratings:
4.5/5 (20 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 21, 2013
ISBN:
9780062246134
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Things are changing in the Gaither household. After soaking up a "power to the people" mind-set over the summer, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern return to Brooklyn with a newfound streak of independence. Pa has a girlfriend. Uncle Darnell is home from Vietnam, but he's not the same. And a new singing group called the Jackson Five has the girls seeing stars.

But the one thing that doesn't change? Big Ma still expects Delphine to keep everything together. That's even harder now that her sisters refuse to be bossed around, and now that Pa's girlfriend voices her own opinions about things. Through letters, Delphine confides in her mother, who reminds her not to grow up too fast. To be eleven while she can.

An outstanding successor to the Newbery Honor Book One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven stands on its own as a moving, funny story of three sisters growing up amid the radical change of the 1960s, beautifully written by the inimitable Rita Williams-Garcia.

Publisher:
Released:
May 21, 2013
ISBN:
9780062246134
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Rita Williams-Garcia's Newbery Honor Book, One Crazy Summer, was a winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award, a National Book Award finalist, the recipient of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and a New York Times bestseller. The two sequels, P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama, were both Coretta Scott King Author Award winners and ALA Notable Children’s Books. Her novel Clayton Byrd Goes Underground was a National Book Award finalist and winner of the NAACP Image Award for Youth/Teen Literature. Rita is also the author of five other distinguished novels for young adults: Jumped, a National Book Award finalist; No Laughter Here, Every Time a Rainbow Dies (a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book), Fast Talk on a Slow Track (all ALA Best Books for Young Adults); and Blue Tights. Rita Williams-Garcia lives in Jamaica, New York, with her husband and has two adult daughters. You can visit her online at www.ritawg.com.


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Reviews

What people think about P.S. Be Eleven

4.6
20 ratings / 14 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    I liked this book even better than One Crazy Summer. I fell in love with the Gaither girls this time, especially Delphine as she is becoming of age. I didn't like Big Ma in this book and I don't the author wanted the reader to like her, but she was a true picture of what a grandmother would be like in the setting and situation. I won't risk a spoiler by being specific, but I was disappointed that some things didn't work out in a happier manner, but then again that's true life for you. I can see a sequel to this book in the lives of the Gaithers.
  • (5/5)
    The fact that Williams-Garcia had accesss to her diary, while making the book, makes you understand why the story transportsnot only back in time, but gives you a vivid insight as to what Delphine is feeling.
  • (4/5)
    Thoroughly enjoyable, although I wasn't blown away. I enjoy these characters so much, and I was disappointed that there wasn't more development. Perhaps I've been reading too many epic fantasy adventures and I've lost my ability to appreciate quieter realistic fiction.

    I can't decide if all of the loose ends at the conclusion are a good thing or not.
  • (4/5)
    Ms. Garcia presents a very realistic portrayal of three Black sisters growing up in the 1960's. By realistic I mean that their thoughts and actions are very similar to my mindset as a kid. There are joys, sorrows, insecurities and hopes for the future. Very balanced. So why not 5 stars. I think there a too many names and events about the 60's dropped in without historical context - the Black Panthers, James Brown, Angela Davis etc and even the 1950's on the part of the girls dad. So, I don't think modern kids will get the references (except the Jackson Five) unless they are closet 60's historians. However, as an adult I enjoyed the book and I am sure kids will too.
  • (5/5)
    P.S Be Eleven is a heartwarming story about three sisters and their family. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and finished it in two days, although I did not realize it is a sequel until after doing so.It could be used for middle aged or young adult readers in an American History, diversity, or other units.
  • (3/5)
    Love the sassy, exuberant vibes of Delphine and her sisters. There's a lot going on in Delphine's life: Uncle Darnell's troubled return from Vietnam, middle school teen drama, letters with Cecile, and Pa's new wife, Mrs. The author pulls it all together without it becoming a mish-mash of issues. I'm still puzzling over Delphine's not-funny valentine card from Oakland and what it meant.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of the best middle grade books I've read all year. It truly sings and dances! I think that Williams-Garcia outdoes herself with her standalone sequel to One Crazy Summer. I thoroughly enjoyed that novel, but feel that she really hits her stride with this touching, funny, vulnerable, and strong novel about the three sisters and their return to their New York neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant in the early 1970s after a conscience-raising summer spent with their mother in Oakland, California. Back to the bosom of Big Ma, Delphine and her sisters must navigate the strong arm (and strap) of Big Ma in a swirling time of bell-bottoms, feminism, and the boy craziness of the Jackson Five. Rita Williams-Garcia's novel simply sings with voice as she expertly weaves this historical era through the eyes of Delphine and her own yearnings for belonging, for her family, for independence, and for the oldest of the Jackson brothers, Jermaine.

    I couldn't put this novel down. My next act will be creating a playlist on Spotify of all the songs Williams-Garcia alludes to in this novel. I hope this novel enjoys a wide readership. It is certainly Newbery-medal quality and while I'm biased toward novels that are love-songs to the Jackson Five in disguise, this book stands apart. Stellar!
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed this just as much as the first -- I very much hope there will be a third book! I love the Gaither Sisters!
  • (4/5)
    Williams-Garcia continues her story of the Gaither girls when they return to Brooklyn after spending the summer with their activist mother. This is a realistic look at life in the 60's and includes an uncle who returns from the Vietnam Conflict with a heroin addiction. Their dad getting married doesn't help either.
  • (4/5)
    After a wild summer in Oakland with their poet/activist mother and their friends at the Black Panther day camp, Delphine, Vonette, and Fern are on their way back to Brooklyn. After a summer of freedom, it's hard to remember some of their grandmother Big Ma's rules for proper behavior and not making a "grand Negro spectacle" of themselves -- but after a mad scamper through the airport, they get a sharp reminder that they are not in Oakland any more. Now that they're back in their neighborhood in Bed-Stuy, starting a new year of school, it seems like things should be getting back to normal . . . and they are, but they aren't. Pa is dating someone, and while he seems happier than Delphine ever remembers him being, she's not convinced that a stepmother is a good idea. Doesn't her father still love their real mother? Uncle Darnell is back from Vietnam, too, and that should be good, except that Uncle Darnell spends all his time sleeping on the couch, wakes up screaming from terrible nightmares, can't seem to find a job, and is far from his old self. And Delphine herself is starting sixth grade, and she notices that some of the girls are starting to be interested in boys in ways that they weren't before. She still feels responsible for her sisters, even though they don't need -- or want -- as much of her attention as they used to. Delphine feels like she is growing up fast, but each letter she gets from her mother ends with the same post-script: Be eleven.As in One Crazy Summer, Williams-Garcia does an excellent job with dialogue and character development. I didn't think the plot in this book was as strong as in the last book, or as closely tied to the political upheaval of the time, though there were certainly plenty of pop culture references. Still, readers who enjoyed One Crazy Summer should pick up P.S. Be Eleven, as they will enjoy following the girls' continued story.
  • (4/5)
    Engaging sequel to One Crazy Summer that can stand on its own as three African-American sisters return from spending time with their mother in '60s Berkeley to Brooklyn. The give and tack between the sisters felt so real, but as a grown-up I also appreciated insight into the different ways the adults felt about contemporary events, and it took me back to childhood dinner tables in a completely different setting.
  • (4/5)
    Still a good book, but not quite as good as. Theoriginal. Could be a standalone. Still need to review for CMLD.
  • (3/5)
    In the Newbery honor award winning One Crazy Summer, we learned of the Gaither girls and their struggle to understand the mother who abandoned them, and headed to California for life dedicated to the black panther and civil rights movement. That was a five star read for me.P.S. Be Eleven is the second book, and while not as strong as One Crazy Summer, it tugged at my heart. Told from the perspective of the oldest of the sisters, eleven year old Delphine is a stubborn, loving, spit-fire of a girl. When mamma abandoned the family, Delphine was the sheep dog herding the sisters who watched as their father was dejected and grief stricken. With a strong, loving grandmother, life continued. Now, returning from a visit with their mother, things have changed. Delphine's sisters are growing and no longer rely on her, Grandma's rules seem constricting, their father found a lady friend, and steady, wonderful Uncle Darryl recently returned from Viet Nam a changed, strange man with a drug addiction. Letters from her mother are poetic and nonsensical. The woman who abandoned her children, as all too soon Delphine carried responsibility, now admonishes her daughter to "be eleven" and not act as an adult. Weaving a difficult time in American history, the author does an incredible job of depicting a country changing and a family personally working through difficult issues. Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    P.S. Please Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia is the sequel to One Crazy Summer. In this installment Delphine, Vonella and Fern are back home in Brooklyn, NYC and Delphine decided to started writing her estranged mother letters to Oakland. The sisters’ father is started a serious relationship with a new woman, the girls are starting a new school year and are obsessed with The Jackson Five . Also the sisters Uncle Darnell just come back from the war in Vietnam a totally different person with a drug addition. Through Delphine back and forth letter with her mother she learn to just be a child and have fun instead of trying to be in grown folks business. The theme of this novel is to enjoy your age and don’t try to grow up too fast.