Monday, May 10, 2010

Freedom Train by Evelyn Coleman

Coleman, Evelyn, Freedom Train. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008. Pgs. 160. Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG.
Clyde Thomason is proud to say that his brother is one of the guards on the Freedom Train, a locomotive that’s going to 48 states displaying the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. The train, however, is controversial, because it will only go to places that are not segregated.

When Clyde gets picked as the freedom speech giver for the Freedom Train’s arrival, bullies start trying to beat him up. When an African American boy saves him, Clyde befriends him, but is afraid to show off their friendship. When his new friend gets threatened by town racists will Clyde stand up for his friend? Will Clyde find the meaning of freedom and courage within him in time to give his freedom speech?

A touching historical fiction novel that does a great job of depicting the sentiments that were going on during the 1940s. The characters are believable and well-developed. The plot is intriguing and thought-provoking. Readers who need to read historical fiction for school or enjoy reading such novels will not be disappointed with this one. EL (4-6), ADVISABLE Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, HUN Public Library

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