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Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy, #2)
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(The Sixties Trilogy #2)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  3,753 ratings  ·  573 reviews
It's 1964, and Sunny's town is being invaded.  Or at least that's what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi, are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote.  They're calling it Freedom Summer.

Meanwhile, Sunny can't help but feel like her house is being invaded, too.  She has a new stepmother, a new brother,
Hardcover, 538 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Scholastic Press
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Tnb I think that at fifth grade the child does not have the historical component to fully understand and appreciate the richness and the language of this…moreI think that at fifth grade the child does not have the historical component to fully understand and appreciate the richness and the language of this book. I suspect that a seventh grade will be better positioned.(less)
Lina No, you do not have to read Countdown before reading this book. Both books are placed in the 1960's, but that is really where the similarity…moreNo, you do not have to read Countdown before reading this book. Both books are placed in the 1960's, but that is really where the similarity dissolves, in terms of the storyline. Although this series does not require the reader to read the books in order, I highly recommend you do read Countdown because it is a fantastic read. (less)

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jv poore
This book is imperative. I implore teachers, librarians, book sellers and book reviewers: please do not let this rest on a shelf until February. The time is now.

Revolution is fiction because our plucky, strident narrator Sunny and her family are fictitious. The history shared; sadly, is not. A devastating, despicable, heart-wrenching, stomach-churning account of the incomprehensible influence of a few small-minded, hate-filled, yet surprisingly powerful, white men throwing their weight around t
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
REVOLUTION is, without a doubt, one of the most impressive books I've read this year. I was bowled over by the magic Deborah Wiles has accomplished in this book. She handles a multitude of complex relationships and situations deftly. Sunny is such a compelling character and the way she experiences the confusing and horrific events of Freedom Summer in Mississippi felt completely realistic. I had trouble putting this book down and was sorry when it ended.
Monica Edinger
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My educating alice review:

Deborah Wiles' Sixties Trilogy is set in the time of hers (and my) youth.  The first book,  Countdown , is a vivid, compelling, and moving view of the Cuban Missile Crisis seen through the eyes of  eleven-year-old Franny and was, I thought, splendid causing me to wait on tenterhooks for the next one.  When I saw that the second book My educating alice review:

Deborah Wiles' Sixties Trilogy is set in the time of hers (and my) youth.  The first book,  Countdown , is a vivid, compelling, and moving view of the Cuban Missile Crisis seen through the eyes of  eleven-year-old Franny and was, I thought, splendid causing me to wait on tenterhooks for the next one.  When I saw that the second book was coming out this year I was both elated and nervous. Could Wiles pull it off again?

Here's my tweet after reading it:

Monica Edinger ‏@medinger  Mar 31 I spent most of the weekend reading @deborahwiles's Revolution and it is fabulous.

So, yes, Wiles pulled it off again. In spades.

Revolution is set during the civil right movement's Freedom Summer of 1964. Two smart young people are at the center of the novel, observing and wondering and questioning the vicious racism and segregation that has ruled their Mississippi community for so long. We meet our protagonist, white twelve-year-old Sunny as she and her slightly older step-brother take an illicit nighttime dip in the municipal pool. Relishing the cool water and thrill of doing something slightly dangerous, Sunny is mulling over the pleasures of the forthcoming lazy summer when she has an encounter that jerks her out of reverie and onto a path of profound knowledge and change. It is a path that Raymond also travels, a boy all too aware of what it means to be young and black in 1964 Greenwood, and who wants to do something about it.

Greenwood has been filled with "invaders" as Sunny calls them, young civil rights activists who have come to do voter registration, set up Freedom Schools, and otherwise support local blacks in gaining their rights. Wiles does a superb job weaving in the many threads of life for white and black Greenwood citizens at this time, powerfullyv and, sometimes brutally, evoking real life events. She also brings in wider pieces of the time, the Vietnam War, the Beatles, and Willie Mays among others.

Sunny and Raymond are beautifully drawn --- highly believable young people of their time and place. There isn't a false note.Those around them are nuanced too, from the young northern civil rights workers to those in both of the young people's families who are responding in different believable ways to the changing events. And Wiles excelles at sensory detail, giving readers the sounds of the young people's different neighborhoods, the feeling of summer heat, those fans and the occasional air conditioner, the shiny floors of the courthouse, and much more. Using present tense, she creates scenes of drama and action and others that are quiet and pensive, all moving and unforgettable.

Then there is the nonfiction material that, as in Countdown, is interspersed throughout. Photos, quotes, excerpts from documents and news articles, song lyrics, and more are evocatively presented, deepening and making even more real  what is going on around Sunny and Raymond.  The back matter offers more along with a solid bibliography. But for those who want to actually hear and see more I encourage them to explore Wile's pinterest page.

Revolution is one spectacular novel. I highly, highly recommend it.

First in the Sixties Series was COUNTDOWN: A historically relevant, coming-of-age story of Franny and her broken-family conundrums amidst nuclear threat/preparedness of the Cold War. It was extraordinarily magnificent! A 5 star Top Pick. So I was in hopes that second in series - REVOLUTION - would live up to its predecessor. Absolutely, YES!! It surpassed all my expectations.

“At heart, REVOLUTION is a story about what it means to be a citizen of this country, to live in a democracy, to be a mem
Benji Martin
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How many books am I allowed to think should be a Newbery contender before no one believes me anymore? I probably passed that mark many books ago, but anyways, I'm serious this time. We waited years for this book, and now we see why it took so long. It's a beautiful piece of work that Wiles worked her tail off creating. Instead of just telling us about the Freedom Summer like many authors would do, Wiles takes her time and SHOWS us the Freedom Summer.. We experience it with Summer and Ray, and se ...more
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Revolution is beautiful and important and wonderful, and it, like Greenglass House, deserves a medal.

If I were emotionally detached, I might have more to say about the way the subject matter carries its own emotional heft - and I might debate as to whether the author should get credit for that. But the beauty of this novel's presentation is that it doesn't allow for emotional detachment. It's an amazing, living thing.

Read this book. Read it now.
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the bulk of Revolution on a grueling, ten hour drive from southern Maine back to my home on Maryland's Eastern Shore. I finally crossed the Delaware Memorial Bridge and turned onto Delaware Route 1 just as the sun was setting, and the loblolly pines and marsh grass were bathed in warm, amber light. Everything felt suddenly easier, and more beautiful. "Oh man," I told my daughter. "It is so good to be back on the Eastern Shore."

That feeling - that fierce pride in one's h
Ms. Yingling
Dec 23, 2013 rated it liked it
In a follow up to her book about the Cuban Missile Crisis, Countdown, Wiles uses the same mix of primary source documents and narrative to tell about the events in Greenwood, Mississippi in the summer of 1964 from the perspective of several characters. Sunny is a twelve year old girl who is dealing with a lot-- her mother left when she was very young, which catapulted her father into a lot of poor choices. He has reformed, and is now remarried to Annabelle, who left her abusive husband in Philad ...more
This took me a while to get into it, but eventually it got to the "don't want to put it down" place.

I have mixed feelings about the documentary format. I liked a lot of what was included, but I think it's also why it took me a while to get into the book. I wish the opening segment of pictures and quotes had been shorter, so that I could get drawn into the story sooner.

And, wow, is this a hard read. It was sort of shocking to read the acknowledgements and see Wiles talk ab
Alex  Baugh
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: randomly-reading
It's Saturday night, June 20, 1964 in Greenwood MS and Sunny Fairchild, 12, and her older stepbrother Gillette, 14,, have just snuck into the municipal pool in Greenwood MS for a forbidden nighttime swim. But as Sunny backstrokes to the edge of the pool, her hand suddenly touches someone else and as she screams and screams, a young black boy, every bit as afraid of Sunny as she is of him, runs from the pool, grabbing his clothes and a pair of new white Converse hi-tops.

Raymond Bullis, 14, just
Full review at:

Whoa. Wiles's ability to mix nonfiction with a fascinating piece of historical fiction is just brilliant.

Revolution is a perfectly-crafted look at one of the toughest times in American history. What Wiles does is truly delve into the emotions felt during the Freedom Summer and some of the smaller actions that may not have made the history books. One of my favorite things about Wiles’s Sixties Trilogy books is that she includes historical resources throughout
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I did not want this one to end.
Jasmine O'Connnor
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I think that this book was great but it trailed along a little bit and if you read the this book before the other book in the series it is only slightly confusing.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Funny how historical fiction can feel awfully timely
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great read with likable characters and lots of history and personal accounts. Recommend Audio so you can hear the actual historical sound bites included. A fictional story parallels actual people and civil rights movements going on in Mississippi in the 1960’s. Good for adults and teens. Don’t need to read the books in order (this is the first one for me).

“Everything is connected, every choice matters, every person is vital and valuable and worthy of respect!”

“I want to l
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. Sunny is such a strong character, and listening to part of the audiobook helped to get a picture of this awesome 12 year old. She learns a lot and grows so much, and she does it with kindness and humor.

One of my favorite lines:
“You’re getting really weird, Sunny,” whispers Polly.
“I know” is all I can whisper back. I know.
Brandy Painter
4.5 Stars

Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I read Countdown by Deborah Wiles when it came out and loved it. I loved the documentary style format (with some reservations) and the story. I highly anticipated the release of the companion novel, Revolution. It was well worth waiting for and is a powerful and moving story.

Revolution chronicles the events that took place in Mississippi 40 years ago when the "invaders" came, groups of students from all over the country
I started this trilogy with my firstborn 5 years ago. Now that the final book in the trilogy has released, I'm reading it again with my second child. My original review still holds true. My kids and I love this story set in Greenwood, Mississippi during the 1964 Freedom Summer told through the experiences of 12-year-old Sunny Fairchild, and we think other younger readers will too. Three thumbs up!

September 20, 2015
Wow! This is a fantastic read! I don't know how she does it, but
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this epic second book in her Sixties trilogy, Deborah Wiles looks at Freedom Summer in Greenwood, Mississippi. Told through multiple points of view, as well as photographs and news clippings from the time, this is a comprehensive look at the issues behind the voter registration drive during the summer of 1964. Twelve-year-old Sunny just wants to listen to the Beatles when the SNCC & COHO "invaders" come to town. Her step-brother Gillette has his own demons, but a love of baseball over all ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The historical fiction book "Revolution" by Deborah Wiles is about what is happening to Sunny's family and the town with the invasion of the freedom groups, this book is great for anyone who would like to learn a little bit more about our history in an interesting way. First, it tells what is happening to Sunny's town. In the beginning it says "It's 1964, and Sunny's town is being invaded. Or at least that's what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi are saying. All Sunny knows is that people fro ...more
Naima F
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenna Buss
Jan 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I guess I had higher expectations for this book, after thoroughly enjoying the first book. It didn't blow me away, but I still enjoyed it, and I learned a lot about 1964, and how racially discriminating everyone was back then. I simply couldn't believe that even though Raymond, a colored boy, got shot in the head and was about to die, the white people still wouldn't let him enter through the main entrance, and they wasted precious seconds taking him all the w
Paul Wilson
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps my favorite YA read ever (although I haven't read that many). A strong improvement over "Countdown," the 60's trilogy moves ahead 2 years to a new character Sunny, who lives through Greenwood's Freedom Summer in 1964 and sees how the South deals with its civil rights revolution from a child's perspective. I'm a big sucker for coming of age stories and 1960's period pieces, so this was exceptionally to my liking (even features a random Lyndon Johnson biography in the middle!) Paul says ch ...more
Joyce Yattoni
I took my time with this book as I was reading I was compelled to venture off the pages and into the bibliography of this fascinating time period. The narrative that is captured of not only family life in the 1960's, but the complex relationships of people grappling with extraordinary change in the way people relate to one another during Freedom Summer is very thorough. This is a must read for young adults who feel disengaged or apathetic about the communities in which they live or the world aro ...more
Angelina Sprague
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought it was very confusing and wasn't really a good book. There are some parts in this book that are very twisted and sad, but also even more confusing. I just wish that I could understand it a little more properly.
Kelly Mclean
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the juxtaposition of the historical quotes and information tied into the fictional account of a young girl's introduction to the injustice of racist South in the 60s. It would be a great tie-in for someone to read along with a To Kill a Mockingbird teaching unit.
Kim Clifton
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Oof, this book was a struggle. I read it at every big-name-English teacher's recommendation, and by the end, I couldn't understand how anyone had made it that far. It gets exciting in the last 100 pages, but if you do the math, that means the first 430 are nothing to write home about. I'm not sure who is supposed to read this-- adults with an interest in history that surpasses their need for plot, maybe-- but the book isn't marketed to that audience. Teens wouldn't have the patience to get throu ...more
Mrs. Krajewski
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's the summer of 1964, and Sunny lives in Greenwood, Mississippi. Family, friends, and neighbors keep telling her "invaders" and "agitators" are coming from the North, and she's worried. What will this mean for her? Sunny already feels like her life is tough enough as it is. Her father remarried, and now his new wife Annabelle and her two children are living with them. Sunny does, however, connect with her new step-brother Gillette. One night, they even sneak into the local pool to go swimming ...more
Miranda Best
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-book
I love a good historical fiction story. Especially one that weaves the real in with the plausible imaginary. This book is chock full of what was going on the summer of 1964 in Mississippi. And it is heartbreaking. Because it really happened. Here. In America. And what is more heartbreaking is that we learned nothing as a nation from this terrible period in our history. We are repeating the same injustices today, not only on the same people...but on an expanded group of peoples. Truly heartbreaki ...more
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Deborah Wiles was born in Alabama and spent her summers in a small Mississippi town with an extended family full of characters. She writes about them and they live on in her stories.

She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College and taught at Towson University in Maryland, Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at Vermont College.

Deborah has written three novels about gr

Other books in the series

The Sixties Trilogy (3 books)
  • Countdown (The Sixties Trilogy, #1)
  • Anthem (The Sixties Trilogy, #3)
“This is how it works. Everything is connected. Every choice matters. Every person is vital, and valuable, and worthy of respect.” 15 likes
“Sometimes you just need a book near you and you can't explain why.” 4 likes
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