In the book One Crazy Summer what does the outside of Cecile's house look like?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Rita Williams-Garcia's award-winning young reader's novel One Crazy Summer, when the three main characters, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, arrive at their mother Cecile's house in Oakland, California, they see that her house is made of green stucco that looks like "green frosting." Cecile told her children that she had "applied the stucco herself." The house is further described as looking prickly, like a green pickle, and its surrounding lawn is dried out. In addition, there is a roofed carport with no car and a "baby palm tree" that looks out of place next to the stucco and the landscape of the neighboring houses. Cecile's house is also in a poor neighborhood.

However, the house is far better than what they expected. Due to the poor relationship between their paternal grandmother, whom they call Big Ma, and Cecile, Big Ma had mislead them into believing Cecile lived in worse conditions. Big Ma resented Cecile for both her extreme politics and for having abandoned her children. As a result, Big Ma had told the three girls that their mother "lived in a hole in the wall" and slept on a park bench. The eldest daughter, Delphine, was especially relieved to see that Big Ma's description was untrue though Delphine could clearly see from the house that Cecile is a rebel.

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