Meanwhile, Sunny can't help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. Read more...
Meanwhile, Sunny can't help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe. And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool--where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.
As she did in her groundbreaking documentary novel COUNTDOWN, award-winning author Deborah Wiles uses stories and images to tell the riveting story of a certain time and place--and of kids who, in a world where everyone is choosing sides, must figure out how to stand up for themselves and fight for what's right.
- ISBN-13: 9780545106078
- ISBN-10: 0545106079
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publish Date: May 2014
- Page Count: 544
- Reading Level: Ages 10-13
- Dimensions: 8.4 x 6 x 1.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
Series: Sixties Trilogy #1
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-06-23
- Reviewer: Staff
This second installment of Wiles's Sixties Trilogy begins during the Freedom Summer of 1964, when hundreds of college students and community organizers arrived to help Mississippi's disenfranchised black citizens overcome voting hurdles erected by local officials. Sunny Fairchild, 12, has seen newspaper stories about these "invaders" and feels an affinity: her household has been taken over by her father's new wife, her children, and her elderly mother. Still, Sunny plans a summer floating in the (whites only) municipal pool, listening to the Beatles, and finding adventures. A chance encounter with Raymond, a talented young black athlete, sets Sunny on a dangerous course, one that exposes the poisonous racism that has her small town on the verge of exploding. As in Countdown (2010), Wiles intersperses Sunny and Raymond's story with historic photos, excerpts from speeches and news stories, and song lyrics that add power and heft to the story. Though the novel is long, it's also accessible and moving, and it will open many eyes to the brutal, not-so-distant past out of which a new standard of fairness and equality arose. Ages 8–12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)
Freedom comes to Mississippi
BookPage Children's Top Pick, June 2014
Following Countdown, Deborah Wiles’ tale about the Cuban Missile Crisis and the first book in her Sixties Trilogy, Revolution spotlights the Freedom Summer of 1964. During this volatile time, black and white volunteers from four major civil rights organizations joined efforts to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi, at the time one of the country’s most racist and dangerous states. These “invaders” have been strategizing for months, but for 12-year-old Sunny Fairchild, it all begins the night she and her new stepbrother sneak into their Greenwood, Mississippi, whites-only swimming pool. They’re not expecting company, especially not Raymond, the “colored boy” with high-tops.
At first Sunny doesn’t understand the uproar when she hears about integration, civil rights and voting registration. Don’t blacks have their own churches, restaurants and schools? She witnesses white students and black citizens being berated and jailed for even attempting to register to vote. When the hatred turns violent and affects her own family, Sunny realizes that doing what’s right often means taking risks.
Readers get the true flavor of this tumultuous and groundbreaking summer as Sunny catches the latest Hayley Mills movie and her parents listen to Walter Cronkite report on the escalating war in Vietnam. But what sets this book apart from other historical fiction is the wealth of photographs, quotes, profiles and song lyrics on topics that range from President Johnson and the three murdered Freedom Riders to Willie Mays and Cassius Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali. For today’s children, these events will be just as much of an awakening to equality as they are to Sunny.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Deborah Wiles about Revolution.