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Freedom Summer

Last updated Friday, February 8, 2013

Author: Deborah Wiles
Illustrator: Jerome Lagarrigue
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 0756950872
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2013

Synopsis: Review
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.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think this book is about?
•  What does it mean to have freedom?

•  Churn- to stir or agitate
•  Spout- to eject liquid in a stream
•  Hunker- squat or crouch
•  Budge- move, shift, or give way

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why is John Henry's brother forced to cover up the pool? How does it make the boys feel? How does it make the brother feel?
•  How is John Henry's life different from Joe's?
•  How would you feel if you couldn't do the same things or go to the same places as your friend because of how you look?
•  What does it mean for the boys to be able to buy their ice pops together?

Craft ideas:
•  Make Valentine's Day cards for your friends and family! Let them know how much you appreciate them.
•  Draw a picture of you and your best friend doing your favorite activity.
•  Make a mobile celebrating your friends. Draw your friends faces on paper plates. Punch holes in these paper plates and attach them to a hanger using yarn.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!