Gone Crazy in Alabama


Gone Crazy in Alabama
Written by Rita Williams-Garcia

Publisher’s Summary:
Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters, who are about to learn what it’s like to be fish out of water as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

Primary Source Pairing:
The Space Run and the Apollo 11 Moon landing defined a generation as people all over the country sat in front of TVs or held radios to their ears to hear the news that the Eagle had landed. For this primary source pairing, invite students to watch and analyze footage of the moon landing and walk on July 20, 1969. Use the text in chapters “Like a Bird in the Sky” through “Got Milk?” (pages 155-179) for evidence to support the feelings and emotions the Gaither sisters and their family experienced.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see and hear.
  • What do you notice first?
  • Does anything about it seem strange or unusual?
  • What other details do you notice?
  • Who are the people who appear in it?
  • What tools and materials were used to create it?
  • Who do you think was the intended audience?
  • What feelings or ideas do you think its creators wanted to communicate?
  • If someone created this recording today, what would be different?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Apollo 11 Moonwalk Montage: YouTube

Related Primary Source Pairings:
P.S. Be Eleven