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.