NS-Christine Johnson's Reviews > Freedom Summer

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles
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Nov 08, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction

This is the story of an unexpected friendship between a white boy(Joe) and a black boy(John Henry) in the segregated South in the sixties. John Henry's mom works for Joe's mom, and in the summer they spend almost every day together. They shoot marbles, chase the cats, and help John Henry's mom with her work, but their favorite thing to do is swim in the creek! They can't swim together at the town pool because John Henry isn't allowed there, but that will soon change. Joe's parents tell him that the law has changed, and he can't wait to tell John Henry! Will they enjoy swimming in the town pool as much as they like swimming in the creek? And what will the rest of the town think of the new law?

This is a beautifully written book that makes the topic of segregation accessible to young readers. For many students this time in history can be difficult to comprehend, but this story makes it easy to understand. The book will raise many questions, and is a good conversation starter for approaching this topic.
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(NS) Laura Jackson Christine, I love this book. I also read it this week and I think that it sends many powerful messages to both children and adults. I like that it teaches about racism and segregation during the Civil Rights movement, but I also think that many of the ideas in the book can be related to current issues we face in our society and classrooms. I can't wait to read this book to my students.

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