SOLSC 2014: Summer of 1964, Worlds Apart


It’s Tuesday and time to share a slice over at Two Writing Teachers.

This past week I finished reading REVOLUTION by Deborah Wiles.  I am challenging myself to read books that might be Newbery contenders this year through Goodreads. It’s funny as I have COUNTDOWN on my shelf but have never read it.

Wow!  If you haven’t read REVOLUTION, consider putting it on your list.  She is to historical fiction what Brian Selznick is to combining illustration and fiction novels.  The book blends a historical fiction with clippings, photos, quotes,etc. about the summer called “Freedom Summer” in Mississippi.

While reading this book, I felt that perhaps I was reading about a foreign country.  The main character Sunny, experiences the unrest in her town of Greenwood, MS.  She experiences the “invasion” of northerners coming to her town to help register people for voting, the pamphlets left by the KKK, and the attitudes of those who don’t want integration in the south.

Meanwhile, in sunny southern California, my summer of 1964 was all about playing Barbies on the patio of the house we just moved into, playing with the neighbor kids before the walls to divide our properties all got built, and threatening harm to my brother’s blue bellied lizards he captured. It was about having my grandmothers from New Jersey visiting and going school shopping for that special first day outfit.

I grew up in a protected world. My parents weren’t the kind of people who had deep political discussions.  I don’t remember hearing about the unrest of the south, of Mississippi, of  Freedom Summer. And today with the unrest in Ferguson, MO, I wonder if we should all take a time out and read Wiles’s new book and remember our history.


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5 Responses to SOLSC 2014: Summer of 1964, Worlds Apart

  1. Pingback: Celebrate: Five Things About the Week | Check It Out

  2. margaretsmn says:

    I did grow up in Mississippi and I don’t remember much unrest. I think the media today makes it easier for us to know about these things. I do remember when we integrated the schools in 1971. It meant that I was bussed across town to experience the Open Classroom. A weird time. I feel the unrest in Missouri is worse. It means progress has not been made. I am so sad and mad. Is this really happening in our country? My spiritual Thursday post tomorrow will touch on it a little.

  3. Linda Baie says:

    I just took the book back to the library because I didn’t get it read-sorry! I’ll try hard to get to it soon. I really want to see how she shares the story. I did grow up with lots of political talk & my grandmother managed to get our little town integrated long before the sixties, so I knew that it was happening although it touched my town in a different way. Thanks for the good review, Jone!

  4. Tara Smith says:

    Remembering our history…I don’t think that we can understand today’s unrest without knowing all that came before. I’ll have to look for this book.

  5. missmoyer says:

    That was the one book on my list that I did read.
    I love the phrase about “reading about a different country.” I felt the same way.
    I’m still puzzled as to who this book is written for! I lean more towards adults.
    What do you think?

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