TITLE: Freedom Summer
AUTHOR: Deborah Wiles
Illustrator: Jerome Lagarrigue
PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books For Young Readers, 2001
John Henry swims better than anyone I know.
He crawls like a catfish,
blows bubbles like a swamp monster,
but he doesn’t swim in the town pool with me.
He’s not allowed.
Joe and John Henry are a lot alike. They both like shooting marbles, they both want to be firemen, and they both love to swim. But there’s one important way they’re different: Joe is white and John Henry is black, and in the South in 1964, that means John Henry isn’t allowed to do everything his best friend is. Then a law is passed that forbids segregation and opens the town pool to everyone. Joe and John Henry are so excited they race each other there…only to discover that it takes more than a new law to change people’s hearts.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : Despite being born and raised in the south where there always seems to be a division between races, I connected very strongly with Ms. Wiles’ story. I may not come from color, but I was raised deeply in poverty and felt society’s judgement of me because of my situation. There are no color barriers between Joe and John Henry. Just two free-spirited children trying to enjoy a summer together. When they finally get a chance to both enjoy the public pool, the stark reality of living in the adults’ world teach them a lesson they will not soon forget. Author, Deborah Wiles, and illustrator, Jerome Lagarrigue, team up to portray an award-winning story of racial division and an enduring friendship in the south during the 1960’s. A touching addition to any library!
RATING: *****5 Stars*****
1 star…probably not worth your time.
2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.
3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.
4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.
5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!
What do books and a martial arts tournament have in common? For Alex, Billy, and Nathan…A LOT! Based loosely on a true story, follow these three friends as they work to raise enough money to enter their school’s tournament. Who will win, who will lose, and who will learn a valuable lesson? Read THE WARRIORS THREE to find out!
Fourth Degree Black Belt and award-winning children’s author, Donna L Martin, creates a sports adventure story for any boy or girl who has ever struggled with self-confidence or wanting to give up on their dreams of winning at something.
Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.
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LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing
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c/o Story Catcher Publishing
P O Box 27788
Knoxville, Tn 37927