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Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement
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Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  198 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Freedom Riders compares and contrasts the childhoods of John Lewis and James Zwerg in a way that helps young readers understand the segregated experience of our nation's past. It shows how a common interest in justice created the convergent path that enabled these young men to meet as Freedom Riders on a bus journey south.

No other book on the Freedom Riders has used such
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Hardcover, 80 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by National Geographic Children's Books
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Roshely Roy
Mar 09, 2014 Roshely Roy rated it it was amazing
I chose to read Freedom Rider’s: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg of the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Bausum because it seemed very interesting to me, but mostly because I needed some extra credit. This book was the best extra credit assignment I have ever done. It compares and contrasts the lives of two Freedom Riders and how they came to be Freedom Riders. The two freedom riders are John Lewis and Jim Zwerg. The bizarre part is that they had two completely different childhoods. One ...more
Beth Crawford
Oct 10, 2016 Beth Crawford rated it really liked it
Freedome Riders takes a unique perspective on the Freedom Rides that took place throughout the civil rights movement. John Lewis, a African American, and Jim Zwerg, a white man, both participated in the freedom rides to Montgomery Alabama. This book describes in great detail the journey of both men and the struggles and triumphs they faced throughout this time.
Both men were students in Nashville that were hoping to make a difference in the rights of African Americans. Jim Zwerg entered college
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Catherine
Interesting read. This book followed two of the riders, John Lewis and Jim Zwerg. The pictures were interesting and I really liked how the book included lyrics from the songs that they would sing.
Charlene
Feb 06, 2017 Charlene rated it really liked it
Two compelling stories, one major difference between them, yet one goal Equality!!!
Justin D.
Dec 16, 2016 Justin D. rated it it was amazing
Out of all books this is the most noble and brave characteristics displayed by all of the Freedom Riders. This book has two main characters John Lewis and James Zwerg. John Lewis is an African American civil rights activist. James Zwerg an American British activists born to a white family. Through the book they become the best of friends and roommates, as James Zwerg had moved to a mainly African American populated school. The start of all the protest, is when James Zwerg had seen his roommate ...more
Rachel Pederson
Nov 04, 2013 Rachel Pederson rated it liked it
Shelves: civil-rights
Freedom Riders is a book that goes into detail about two men’s lives, one white and one black, and how they’re journey to help in the Civil Rights Movement made them some of the best of friends. Written by Ann Bausum, the book explores the lives of John Lewis, a young black man that grew up in Alabama, and Jim Zwerg, a wealthy white man that grew up in Wisconsin. Both men lived completely different lives until they ended up in Nashville for college. Here, both white and colored people of the com ...more
Maria Ritchey
Mar 04, 2015 Maria Ritchey rated it it was amazing
In her book, "Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement", Ann Bausum shares the stories of two men of very different backgrounds whose paths crossed when they decided to join the Freedom Riders and support the non-violent protest against discrimination. John Lewis is an black American born into segregated Troy, Alabama and Jim Zwerg a white American born into a small Wisconsin town whose total population included only one person of color. They lived ...more
Jessica Gilligan
Nov 30, 2014 Jessica Gilligan rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Bausum, Ann (2006). Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement. National Geographic Society: Washington, DC.

Junior Book Project: Biography

2007 Sibert Honor Book

This is an engaging book detailing the history of the freedom riders, as they fought to gain rights by taking an initiative during the Civil Rights Movement. The book portrays the history of the riders by focusing of the experiences of two of its riders: John-a black college student from the d
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Andrea
Nov 26, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it
This books tells the story of John Lewis and Jim Zwerg two powerful leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and their role as Freedom Riders. Two different points of view are offered, Lewis and Zwerg came from different backgrounds and life journeys, and however they shared the same dream; to end segregation in America. Lewis grew up black in a poor family in the segregated south, while Zwerg grew up white in a wealthy family in a part of the country where there was little to no diversity. Eventual ...more
Howie Kahekili
This books tells the story of John Lewis and Jim Zwerg two powerful leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and their role as Freedom Riders. Two different points of view are offered, Lewis and Zwerg came from different backgrounds and life journeys, and however they shared the same dream; to end segregation in America. Lewis grew up black in a poor family in the segregated south, while Zwerg grew up white in a wealthy family in a part of the country where there was little to no diversity. Eventual ...more
Lenise Jones
Nov 27, 2014 Lenise Jones rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs642
Bausum, Ann (2006). Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement National Geographic Society.
Robert F. Sibert Honor Book 2007
Junior Book Project
Great biography of 2 young men from 2 different socioeconomic status who have a common cause. John Lewis is an African-American who was born in the south, grew up picking cotton and doing other farm chores. Jim Zwerg is Caucasian and grew up in the north, never being exposed to racism until his late teens, earl
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Crystal Lockhart
Dec 06, 2013 Crystal Lockhart rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
I chose to read Freedom Rider’s: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg of the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Bausum as one of my informational choices. This book was a Sibert Honor Book in 2007. It compares and contrasts the lives of two Freedom Riders and how they came to be Freedom Riders. The story of how they came to be Freedom Riders and how they continued their fight after the initial problems started is laid out wonderfully in this book. The pictures and song lyrics included in this b ...more
Jasmyn H
Dec 09, 2014 Jasmyn H rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Bausum, A. (2006). Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the front lines of the civil rights movement. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.

Junior Book Log: Informational

2007 Sibert Medal Honor

Author Ann Bausum captures the events that took place during the Civil Rights Movement, namely the Freedom Rides. Bausum focuses on two particular Freedom Riders; John Lewis, a black man and Jim Zwerg, a white man and how the Freedom Rides changed their lives. The author also clarifies which langu
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Jennifer
Dec 13, 2014 Jennifer added it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book tells an inspiring and impactful story about the rights of people of color in America. This book tells a story of the civil rights movement from not one but two perspectives of men involved in the civil rights action. These two incredible men played significant roles as Freedom Riders embarking in a dangerous, admirable, and heroic journey towards equality in America. There are many books written about the audacious men and women who put their lives on the line for civil rights in Amer ...more
Lisa E
Oct 20, 2014 Lisa E rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs642
Bausum, A. (2006 ). Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Children’s Books.

Sibert Honor 2007

Informational

School Library Journal 2006

What a great read! Ann Bausum tells the story of two black. The two boys John Lewis and James Zwerg are united in one common goal to live in a just and peaceful country. kids raised in different settings, one in the deep South and the other with whites in the Midwest. The book i
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Jasmine
Jul 20, 2015 Jasmine rated it it was amazing
This summer, from July 17th to July 28th, I read the book, Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Bausum. I believe the overall theme of the book was, everyone should be treated equally, regardless of their race. The book shows how black and white protesters were treated, because they were against segregation and racial discrimination. The quote I chose was "Our country needs you. It needs your drive, your dedication, your creativity, your ...more
Lindsay Kaiktsian
Dec 05, 2014 Lindsay Kaiktsian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
Bausum, A. (2006). Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the front lines of the civil rights movement. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.

Information Category

2007 Sibert Honor

This is an amazing tale of who the Freedom Riders were and what they stood for. While reading you find that John Lewis was a black man that stood up for Civil Rights. Later you find that Jim Zwerg was a white man that also stood up for the Civil Rights for all people. Both of the men go through many trials and trib
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Jason Roop
Dec 02, 2014 Jason Roop rated it liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Bausum, A. (2006 ). Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Children’s Books.

Sibert Honor 2007/ Informational

This nonfiction book focuses on Jim Lewis and Jim Zwerg’s Journey into the segregated south to take part in the freedom rides. In 1961 racial turmoil was vast but the future congressman (Jim Lewis) and white college student (Zwerg) rode buses with white and black passengers. The recounts of the violence
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Krista
May 02, 2010 Krista rated it really liked it
This book examines the brave Freedom Riders who traveled to the Deep South to fight segregation not so very long ago. Bausum focuses on the experiences of John Lewis and Jim Zwerg, college students of different races and from radically different backgrounds. Lewis, an African American from a rural southern town, and Zwerg, a white Midwesterner with a middle-class background, united in their struggle for Civil Rights. Both were horrifically injured by bands of angry citizens, who attacked them as ...more
mg
Read the book; don't listen to the audio.

So much is lost without the photos (that have captions with info that isn't included in the audio version). Also, they really missed a huge opportunity by reading the lyrics of each of the freedom songs at the beginning of each chapter, instead of actually playing the songs. This is the one benefit that audio has that print doesn't, and they didn't take advantage of it.

As far as the content, there is very important information about the Freedom Riders, a
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Hillery Puente
Mar 07, 2013 Hillery Puente rated it it was amazing
Anything about the civil rights movement is an automatic attention catcher for me. There is always new information to learn about during these times. This chapter book was well written in an inspiring way for young children to understand the history of what happened and why. I feel that children should feel more appreciative of the rights they are given because of the people who took the initiative to make it happen. It is important to introduce this topic in an appropriate way and I felt this b ...more
Brittany Newton
Nov 05, 2013 Brittany Newton rated it liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Category: Informational
Source: 2007 Sibert Medal and Honor (History)

This informational book is a great read for students when they are learning about the Civil Rights Movement. Freedom Riders were a group of men and women that head to the south to test out the new US Supreme Court ruling that outlaws all racial segregation in public facilities. This book compares and contrasts the lives of the real Freedom Riders and allows children to see how these people lived during this time and how the Civi
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Amanda Carpenter
Dec 01, 2014 Amanda Carpenter rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Bausum, Ann (2006). Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement. National Geographic Society: Washington, DC.

Sibert Honor 2007

This was a wonderful book that told the story from the perspective of two very different people. One perspective was from a black man from the south and the other perspective was from a white man from the north. These two men came together to stand up for what they believed in. I think the brave acts of these two courageous in
...more
Luann
By comparing and contrasting the very personal stories of two of the influential Freedom Riders, one a black man and one a white man, Ann Bausum helped me to not only understand the facts of the story, but to feel them as well. This isn't just facts and dates on a page, these were very real people who decided that change was necessary even if it might cost them their lives. The numerous photographs of the events, and in some cases the only surviving photographs, added a very realistic touch to t ...more
Kelly
Jul 26, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it
This book hooked me because one of the two Freedom Riders that it focuses on is from Wisconsin. The other reason I was hooked is because of the story itself. The abuse and horror that these Freedom Riders faced on their sojourn south is at once eye-opening and shocking. The fact that they were so strong in their convictions that they were willing to risk death was inspiring. It also caused me to wonder what social injustices would I be willing to risk the same for? A great book for middle school ...more
Rachel
May 30, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ltcy-504
This is a true story about two young men, one black, one white, who were literally willing to die for what is right. They could not have grown up more differently, but when the day came for them to take a freedom ride into the deep south they became brothers. Despite severe beatings, imprisonment, and the disapproval of their families, they, along with several other brave men and women during the Civil Rights era, changed the course of history.
Sheena
Aug 06, 2011 Sheena rated it really liked it
I thought this book was extremely well written. The facts were given in a way that was engaging and unboring, both keys in sharing history. I think the pictures throughout the book help tell the story and give the reader a better sense of the abuse these men and women faced. I think this book would be great for any history classroom and has a broad appeal. I like the cover art on the book. I think it draws the reader in and will appeal to teen because of the color and pictures on the front.
Salsabrarian
An account of the Freedom bus rides through the segregated South as experienced by John Lewis and Jim Zwerg, college students who were active in organizing and participating in the rides, despite great the great physical costs to themselves and others. As a white participant, Jim Zwerg was prominently featured in media coverage; his devotion to the cause inspired thousands across the country to join the rides. John Lewis later went on to become a U.S. Congressman for Georgia.
Richard (Rick)
Jun 25, 2012 Richard (Rick) rated it liked it
Shelves: upper-elementary
This was an interesting and short read on the Freedom Riders and two of their leaders. I didn't know anything about the Freedom Riders, so this was good to learn about. The book wasn't really super interesting and read like a wikipedia entry for the most part. But it taught me.
Sherrie
Oct 28, 2008 Sherrie rated it really liked it
This is a good young adult nonfiction book about two of the Freedom Riders during the civil rights movement. The author does a good job of explaining concepts that likely would be unfamiliar to teen readers, and the book is exhaustively illustrated.
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ED273: Freedom Riders 1 3 Nov 18, 2012 04:21PM  
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Ann Bausum writes about history for readers of all ages from her home in southern Wisconsin. Her works often focus on under-told stories from the past, and she frequently explores issues of social justice.

Her newest title, The March Against Fear (National Geographic: 2017), is her third work to examine the civil rights movement in the American South. In the case of these and other books, Bausum s
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More about Ann Bausum...

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