In this Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel and sequel to the New York Times bestseller and Newbery Honor Book One Crazy Summer, the Gaither sisters return to Brooklyn and find that changes large and small have come to their home. This extraordinary novel earned five starred reviews, with Publishers Weekly calling it "historical fiction that's as full of heart as it is of heartbreak" and The Horn Book considering it "funny, wise, poignant, and thought-provoking."
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. The sisters aren't the only ones who have changed. Now Pa has a girlfriend. Uncle Darnell returns from Vietnam a different man. But Big Ma still expects Delphine to keep her sisters in line. That's much harder now that Vonetta and Fern refuse to be bossed around. Besides her sisters, Delphine's got plenty of other things to worry about—like starting sixth grade, being the tallest girl in her class, and dreading the upcoming school dance. The one person she confides in is her mother, Cecile. Through letters, Delphine pours her heart out and receives some constant advice: to be eleven while she can.
This extraordinary novel will find a home in the hearts of readers who loved Brown Girl Dreaming and As Brave as You.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
P.S. Be Eleven Discussion Guide
This teaching guide for Rita Williams-Garcia's P.S. Be Eleven includes discussion questions and classroom activities and is aligned with Common Core standards for grades 4 through 7. It addresses such areas as vocabulary, figurative language, plot and character analysis, and more. [PDF]
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)“This thoughtful story, told with humor and heart, rings with the rhythms and the dilemmas of the ‘60s through characters real enough to touch.”
Horn Book (starred review)“Funny, wise, poignant, and thought-provoking, this will leave readers wanting more about Delphine and her sisters.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)“..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.”
School Library Journal (starred review)“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.”
Monica Edinger, writing in The New York TimesPRAISE FOR ONE CRAZY SUMMER:“In One Crazy Summer Williams-Garcia presents a child’s-eye view of the Black Panther movement within a powerful and affecting story of sisterhood and motherhood.
Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medal–winning author of A Single ShardPRAISE FOR ONE CRAZY SUMMER:“One Crazy Summer is a genuine rarity: a book that is both important in its contents and utterly engaging in its characters…with the tremendous bonus of being beautifully written.”
School Library Journal (starred review)Praise for P.S. BE ELEVEN:“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.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)PRAISE FOR ONE CRAZY SUMMER:“Delphine is the pitch-perfect older sister, wise beyond her years, an expert at handling her siblings...while the girls are caught up in the difficulties of adults, their resilience is celebrated and energetically told with writing that snaps off the page”
Booklist (starred review)PRAISE FOR ONE CRAZY SUMMER:“Regimented, responsible, strong-willed Delphine narrates in an unforgettable voice, but each of the sisters emerges as a distinct, memorable character, whose hard-won, tenuous connections with their mother build to an aching, triumphant conclusion.”
Horn Book (starred review)PRAISE FOR ONE CRAZY SUMMER:“The setting and time period are as vividly realized as the characters, and readers will want to know more about Delphine and her sisters after they return to Brooklyn...”