Joe and John Henry were the best of friends. Together they shelled butter beans, shot marbles, and swam in Fiddler's Creek. They loved playing and eating ice pops together. But there was one important difference between Joe and John Henry. Being white, Joe was permitted to go into any store, eat at any restaurant, and swim in the town's swimming pool. However, John Henry was black. Growing up in the south during the 1960's meant that he wasn't allowed to go and do most of the things his best friend could. The town's swimming pool was strictly off limits to him. Joe and John Henry had high hopes when they heard that due to the Civil Rights Act of 1964; they would finally be able to swim together at the town's pool. Their hopes were soon dashed when they saw the senseless filling of the pool with tar. This was done to prevent EVERYONE from using it. They soon realized that it takes more than changing the law to make things fair; it takes a changing of hearts. In Deborah Wile's, 'Freedom Summer', we see racism through the eyes of two young boys and witness their determination 'to make things right'.
Similar authors: Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert; Pat McKissack; Jacqueline Woodson
Similar books: Papa's Mark by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert; Goin' Someplace Special by Pat McKissack; The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson; Coolies by Yin; Pop's Bridge by Eve Bunting
Date read: 8/1/2011