In the sixties, when Sheryl's Uncle Pete joins the Freedom Riders down South, she organizes a gospel concert in Brooklyn to help him.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyReaders interested in the civil rights movement will be touched and enlightened by this first novel about a black Northerner's growing awareness of the problems of segregation in the South. During the spring of 1968, Sheryl Williams, 14, confronts harsh realities while visiting relatives in North Carolina. After witnessing--and then experiencing--acts of prejudice, she understands why Uncle Pete and some neighbors have joined the freedom riders, a group of protesters practicing methods taught by Martin Luther King. Once home in Brooklyn, N.Y., Sheryl decides to collect money for the group by holding a benefit concert with her friends, but before she can carry out her plans, Uncle Pete is killed by a bomb. Working harder than ever, the grief-stricken girl and her schoolmates raise more than $5000 and continue their campaign by making the concert an annual event. In the tradition of Mildred Taylor, Moore presents an authentic, disturbing slice of black American history as she traces an impressionable heroine's changing perceptions. Although the story is set nearly 30 years ago, its themes regarding injustice, oppression and nonviolent forms of resistance remain relevant today. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7-12-- This historical novel that opens on Good Friday morning in 1963 is the story of the impact of the beginnings of the civil rights movement on a Brooklyn teenager with family roots in the South. When Sheryl and her family head to North Carolina for Easter weekend, readers are plunged headlong into country living with outhouses and scary dogs at the neighbors' as well as a foot-washing church service, country picnics, and over and over the force of the Jim Crow laws that both infuriate and humiliate Sheryl. The topic of the freedom riders is introduced as young Uncle Pete is dedicated to the movement, and the whole family reacts. On Sheryl's return to her segregated northern community, she shares with her friends her concern and desire to support the movement with a fundraiser. Much of the story centers on how the kids struggle to achieve their goal and how that struggle changes them. The narrative resonates with the details and emotions of the times. The fear and anguish of the relatives and observers of those in the front lines are balanced by the lighthearted gossip and trivial pursuits of teenagers far from the reality. The book is uneven, however, and the narrator's voice is often not that of a 14-year-old. Moore includes far too many characters, and there is other evidence that this is a first novel and that the author's pacing and plot are not yet up to her vivid language and convincing ability to take readers to a crucial time in our history. --Carol A. Edwards, Buckham Memorial Library, Faribault, MN
- Scholastic, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Age Range:
- 12 Years
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Freedom Songs based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This is excellent reading. Especially for todays black youth. A real look into the struggles of previous generations and how past generations paved the way for todays youth to enjoy certain liberties that are constantly taken for granted.