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Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories
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Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  270 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In this inspiring collection of true stories, thirty African-Americans who were children or teenagers in the 1950s and 1960s talk about what it was like for them to fight segregation in the South-to sit in an all-white restaurant and demand to be served, to refuse to give up a seat at the front of the bus, to be among the first to integrate the public schools, and to face ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Puffin Books (first published 1993)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  270 ratings  ·  33 reviews


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Timothy Riley
This book shows exactly how much of a drawn out concerted effort the fight for equal rights was in the 50's and 60's. These are stories of young people, college students who are just normal people who have had enough and had some direction on what to do to change an unfair, unjust society. The South truly is and was a backwards bastion of white hate, prejudice and apathy. The book proves how there were a small minority of whites who actively fought the civil rights movement-they were usually in ...more
Sara
Dec 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Another nonfiction book!They are so interesting and so good now, can learn a lot of experience and opinions from them. After reading this book, I've learned many things that teachers don't even teach us in class. Freedom's Children, is a story made of many stories from different people who experienced the segreation first hand. Throughtout all these short stories, great emotions, attitudes, feelings and thoughts are being expressed and let out in a way that touches their readers strongly, well a ...more
Erin
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this book as part of a community service project I participate in called Promising Pals. My penpal is a seventh grade boy, and this year's theme is courage. The first-hand accounts of the civil rights movement in this book define courage. All of the people who tell their stories here were children during the movement, from age 8 to age 17. Many were arrested multiple times, even the 8-year olds, and many were assaulted by segregationists. I was amazed at their commitment to nonviolence; I ...more
Jack
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories by Ellen Levine.

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Booklist Editors' Choice

From back cover:
In this inspiring collection of true stories, thirty African-Americans who were children or teenagers in the 1950s and 1960s talk about what it was like for them to fight segregation in the South-to sit in an all-white restaurant and demand to be served, to refuse to give up a seat at the front of the bus, to be among the fi
...more
Jason Kurtz
Dec 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
This is the chronological story of the civil rights movement, told by the young children/students who were involved at the time. A lovely, complete work that covered many aspects of the civil rights movement of which I was not aware. An especially revealing section was that of Claudette Covlin, who refused to give up her seat in the white section of a bus nine months before Rosa Parks did it, but because she was a minor, it was not highly publicized. The Rosa Parks incident seemed more plotted a ...more
Danielle
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I’ve learned about the civil rights movement school, of course, but this book helped to humanize it for me. Ive Heard about what happened, but this book showed it. I didn’t realize how LONG it took for change to come about. The stories in this book tell of people protesting every day for years, despite beatings and killings. Reading it this way is much more personable than reading a detached text book version of the civil rights movement. The kids featured in here were so brave, and their persev ...more
Kit
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I got goosebumps when I read the first-person accounts in this book. Levine interviewed people who had been boys and girls during the Montgomery bus boycotts, Freedom Summer, and the Selma movement, and this book is their stories of their activism. From kids who were four years old and sat on Dr. King's lap at meetings to nine-year-olds who went to jail, they're amazing people who wouldn't be stopped when they realized that there was a chance to change the world. The opposition against them was ...more
SaraJane
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really appreciated reading the perspectives of young children and adults and seeing how their journey of involvement begins in the fight for equality. The testimonials remind me once again about the courage needed to stand up for what you believe in.

Page 46 " Our nonviolence was an act of logic."
Daniel
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great book about the American Civil Rights movement, told my people who were children and teens at the time. It's organized well around personal narratives that recount many of the major episodes of the movement.
Naomi
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: woman-author
This was generally solid. I have a preference for first-person source history, and this one prioritized the voices of the young activists, and managed to do so in a way that made sense as an overall discussion of the civil rights movement.
Alexx Mendezz(:
May 11, 2010 is currently reading it
Shelves: my-faves
Just flat-out life changing. To think that all of this really happened, and these words actually came out of people's mouths makes you think twice about how miserable you really are.
Emma
May 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
Had to read it for lit group in reading I didn't like it at all.
Tami
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My students and I truly enjoyed this text and the rich discussions that accompanied the book.
Jenni Frencham
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I love the idea of this book, but it really, truly could benefit from some updating.
Bill
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
So many interesting stories -- good to read so many personal accounts; a "behind the scenes" look at the Civil Rights movement
Dominick
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
i like this book and i think boy like my age can read and relate to it
A.C.E. Bauer
Inspiring stories! This is a great introduction to the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s from the point of view of the children who participated and lived through it.
Sarah Mae
Apr 03, 2015 rated it liked it
The youth of the Civil Rights movement tell their stories.
Chad
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Amazing to read these letters. Every American owes it to him or herself to read this book.
Cindy
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was so interesting to read the stories of children and teens involved in civil rights activities. I really wasn't aware of a lot of this...
Donna Siebold
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: the-hub-2015
Reporting as adults, these are the stories of the children of the south and how they were involved in the Civil Rights Movement. The tales are inspiring and horrifying simultaneously.
Brittany
Multiple perspectives; civil rights movement; civil rights activist; African American History
Kelsey
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book and it was very good.
Laura
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
You can't get braver and more impressive than the children in this book. It was a beautiful read, full of chilling and inspirational stories. Wow.
Alice Ball
Absolutely excellent resource for teaching empathy and empowerment. A must have for every school library, and every middle-high school social studies teacher.
Olivia Remmick
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Freedom’s Children” is a powerful, in your face collection of memoirs about growing up black in the South during the 1950’s and 1960’s. It tells of the injustice, bigotry, and horrific racism that they faced on a day to day basis, until they’d had enough. Even though some may find the different points of view on the same events boring, I believe it gives the book depth based on the different experiences and thoughts that come from the same movement or protest. For example it tells the stories o ...more
Valerie McEnroe
This is an easy read, giving an overview of the Civil Rights movement from the perspective of the kids who lived it. Some of the accounts are just a paragraph. While others are several pages. Levine includes accounts from all the major events of the decade from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s. She divides them by chapters: general segregation practices, bus boycotts, school segregation, freedom marches, Freedom Summer, and Freedom Rides. It's well written and perfect for upper elementary students ...more
Hannah
May 06, 2014 rated it liked it
A non fiction book is always true. Some of the many topics of non fiction books are: food, art, or events in history. “Freedom’s Children” by Ellen Levine is a book about the Civil Rights Movement in America between the 1950s and 1960s. It talks about people's experiences throughout this time period. In the book, one person that I read about, was Ben Chaney. He was a young black boy who lived in Mississippi. He and his family lived across the street from a white family. Ben used to play with the ...more
Brandon Massey
This book take place throughout the civil rights movement. In this book it shows all the pain and struggle blacks have to live with because of the color of theirs skin. For example the Montgomery bus boycott which took place during 1955 to 1956. The protest was for blacks to be able to sit in front of the bus. Also this book have actual people talk about what it was like for them to fight segregation down South.
What I like about the book is that it has multiple people telling their experience
...more
Alexis Taylor
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed everything about this novel it was wonderful to read stories from the children and teens involved in the civil rights movement. It was intriguing to hear about their experiences with segregation and racism In the south at young ages. The teens were actively involved in the movement and they weren't scared to fight for their equality. The stories of sheyann Webb, Claudette Colvin, Ben Chaney, and other teenagers and children actively involved in the movement. I recommend this novel if y ...more
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Ellen Levine's books have won many awards and honors, including the Jane Addams Peace Award. Although she enjoys writing both fiction and nonfiction, most of Ellen's books for young readers have been nonfiction. "Writing nonfiction lets me in behind the scenes of the story. I enjoy learning new things and meeting new people, even if they lived 200 years ago."

Ellen Levine was born in New York City
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