“Gone Crazy in Alabama” is a book about sisters, old and young, and how family history isn’t always just facts. The author is Rita Williams-Garcia. It begins in New York City in 1969, when the three main characters, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, are going down to Alabama to visit relatives. Delphine is the oldest. She is used to being in charge and because of that really likes it. She is almost thirteen years old. Vonetta is in the middle. Sometimes she can be a bit of a show-off. Vonetta isn’t always very nice to Delphine and Fern. Fern is the very youngest. She is beginning to be a poet. She loves animals.
Once the girls arrive in Alabama, they get mixed up in an argument between their great-grandmother and her half-sister. Both women claim that they know their family history best. The half-sisters don’t speak to each other, so they can’t just tell each other what they think the story is. Vonetta and Delphine have never really gotten along, but when there is a tornado, and Vonetta goes missing, Delphine realizes how much she loves Vonetta.
I liked Gone Crazy in Alabama. It takes place at a time when the Jim Crow laws were still in place in the South. I really liked that the book had some true history. It made me want to learn more about what it would be like to be an African-American girl during that time period. The characters are incredibly lifelike, which is part of why I loved this book. The author depicts the sisters in a way that at times you wish they were yours.
This is the third book in a trilogy. The first two are One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven (which by the way, I also thought were awesome). I recommend these books to grades 3-6 especially for those who like history.