In light of Summer, I chose “One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams-Garcia to be my next read. I met her last Summer at Manhattanville’s College Summer Writer’s Week. She was so sweet and graciously signed TWO copies of her book for me, one for my friend and one for me. In the past year, you know, I’ve been working on my thesis and finishing classes for my MFA. With that came a ton of required reading and research I needed to do so I had to shelf this book. I picked it up the other day because finally I have TIME to read it! I know this will be a quick read, it’s a grade school novel and frankly, after reading The Fault In Our Stars, I needed something light-hearted.
And let me go on a slight tangent to say, I loved The Fault In Our Stars and I suggest everyone who’s serious about reading or writing read it. John Green is as genius as all the reviews have said! The book uses cancer and teenage love to talk about such large issues that plague us all: is life really fair? Are we at fault for what happens to us or does the universe or God render to us that which we cannot be fully responsible for? What is pain and how do we deal with it? Huge questions that he loosely answers in such a perfect way. But after that my mind and heart needed something that could take me in a different direction, emotionally.
I remember as a kid, going to the African bookstore in downtown Bridgeport. My parents would always take us there on Saturdays and let my brother and I shop for cool things like clothes, games, or books. The books were plentiful and I remember going aisle by aisle struggling to find one I wanted. I always wanted them all. I remember wanting to write stories about black little girls who looked like me and who had families like mine. I never took that thought seriously, then, but thank God time changes things. I say all that to say, I’m always eager to read stories written by black women because I remember the impress they made on me as a child. They reflected the possibilities I had as a girl and so I am reading this book by Rita Williams-Garcia is an ode to my youth. It is also an ode to my future as a black woman who’s a writer hoping I can give some little girl in the world a chance say “that can be me, I can do that too!”.
So, for those who keep up with my reading, I’m preparing for one crazy Summer WITH “One Crazy Summer”!