Freedom Train by Evelyn Coleman

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Now in paperback, an enthralling account of a young boy’s struggle to help freedom triumph over fear in the 1940s American South.

It’s 1947, and twelve-year-old Clyde Thomason is proud to have an older brother who guards the Freedom Train—a train that is traveling to all forty-eight states carrying the country’s most important documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Clyde is chosen to say the Freedom Pledge at the train’s stop in Atlanta, but his terrible stage fright forces him to refuse the honor. Instead, it’s the class bully, Phillip, who gets selected, and he begins to torment Clyde. When an African-American boy saves him from a beating, Clyde is shocked. Especially when he learns that William lives in the white part of town. How can this be? And why can’t he bring himself to be friends with William?

Clyde hasn’t told his parents he won’t perform the pledge, nor has he mentioned his confusing friendship with a boy of color. So when the townspeople threaten William’s family, Clyde has a choice to make: Will he keep quiet, or stand up for real freedom? 

Ideal for classrooms, Freedom Train contains historical photos of the Freedom Train and its guards, as well as an author’s note that provides additional information about the history of the Freedom Train.

About Evelyn Coleman

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Evelyn Coleman is the author of several books for young readers, among them To Be a Drum; White Socks Only; and The Riches of Oseola McCarty, a Smithsonian Notable Book and a Carter G. Woodson Honor Book for 1999. A frequent lecturer and workshop leader in schools and churches, she was the first African-American writer to win a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship for fiction. Ms. Coleman lives with her family in Atlanta, Georgia, where she recently received a Mayor's fellowship for achievement in children's literature.
Published January 3, 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 170 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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initially conflicted about befriending William, Clyde realizes that he doesn't want to be someone “who don't want to speak up when something ain't right.” Coleman convincingly depicts Clyde's gradual awakening to the racism that surrounds him, as well as the prejudice his impoverished family face...

Dec 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Freedom Train

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