What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that P.S. Be Eleven is a sequel to Rita Williams-Garcia's popular One Crazy Summer, and like it is set in the turbulent late 1960s. There are are discussions about race, politics, war, and dating throughout. There are also instances of corporal punishment, bullying, and drug use. While no one is seen using drugs, kids do witness the side effects of drug use, including moodiness, loss of appetite, and irrational behavior.
What's the story?
Delphine and her sisters, Vonetta and Fern, come back to Brooklyn after spending the summer with their estranged poet mother, Celine, and face a world that's changing every day. They discover their father's new girlfriend, gain a better but unorthodox relationship with their mother, and long for the return of the man their uncle used to be before the war. Will Delphine ever learn to worry less and just \"be eleven\"?
Is it any good?
Rita Williams-Garcia's follow-up to the award winning One Crazy Summer is a rich and detailed novel with well-rounded characters. William-Garcia lets the characters evolve without fitting into tidy sterotypes. The three girls feel like kids you would find in any neighborhood in America.
This is also a wonderful book to help bring to life what it was like to grow up in a time with so much societal change. While the issues at hand may be different -- different wars, different societal constraints being challenged, etc. -- P.S. BE ELEVEN offers many parallels with what's happening in today's society. Minority groups still struggle to have their voices heard, middle school is still a hotbed of akwardness and rivalry, war still sends home wounded soldiers who struggle long after the bandages come off, and parents still strive to connect with their kids. Readers easily identify with the characters and their daily struggles and triumphs, making this a classic for the home library.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the difference between our era and the 1960s. While the times and issues are different, how does this book mirror what is happening in the world today?
Delphine's mother Celine always signs her letters "P.S. Be Eleven." Why did Celine need to remind Delphine to enjoy being 11 years old? Do you ever feel pressure to behave older than you are? Can you point to shows, books, video games where kids dress and act older than their age?
Do you or anyone you know have to split your time between two parents' homes? What kinds of challenges does this situation present? What challenges cause Delphine to struggle?
|Genre:||Coming of Age|
|Topics:||Book characters, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Great girl role models, History, Misfits and underdogs|
|Publication date:||May 21, 2013|
|Number of pages:||288|
|Publisher's recommended age(s):||8 - 12|
|Read aloud:||8 - 12|
|Read alone:||8 - 12|
|Awards:||ALA Best and Notable Books, Coretta Scott King Medal and Honors|