Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-02 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 3 user ratings

"Filled with b&w photos, maps, and drawings done by a Freedom Summer volunteer, this history of that landmark effort also has an engaging text. There is a wealth of quotations from participants that fill out the narrative, which describes chronologically the effort to register African-American voters and to assist in other social causes including literacy. A large part of the story deals with the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner. It has a strong "you are there" feeling to the book, and would pair well with the PBS documentary on Freedom Summer." said.

"One of a number of outstanding recent narrative nonfiction titles on the Civil Rights battles of the 1960s. This one focuses on the effort to get African Americans living in Mississippi registered to vote. At the center of the effort is the story of three young men--one African American and two Whites, whose disappearance (and brutal murder) early in the summer created a climate of fear among those volunteering. The achievement of this book is that it shows the hope, courage, and determination that rose out of that fear." said.

"This is an interesting look at the Civil Rights workers in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964. The deaths of 3 of the workers sparked a national outrage and shed much light on the plight of the African Americans who lived under strict Jim Crow laws of the day. This volume is text and note heavy. It would be a great resource for Middle and High School students doing reports on the subject. Original photographs, drawings by the participants, documents and maps round out this informative book. For ages 12 - 18." said.

"At 120 pages, this moved along at a much brisker pace, with compelling stories from a variety of people along with an overview of the events of the summer. The inclusion of primary source material, photographs, and fantastic period drawings by Tracy Sugarman gives this a lot of punch, and the research is phenomenal. The appendices, bibliography and additional material make this one that a few students will read for pleasure, and many more will find invaluable for research. This covered not only the Freedom Summer murders, but a lot of interesting information on the efforts to get people signed up to vote, the Freedom Schools, and the training for students from the North who traveled South to help with these efforts. " said.

"Freedom Summer had a very useful, informational timeline to refer back to at the end of the book, which I really appreciated. The book addresses the issues that arose during the Civil Rights Movement and what organizers did to fight the Jim Crow laws. Freedom Summer contained a lot of useful information, but wouldn't be very engaging to students because of the surplus of words. The reading was very dense and I would occasionallly lose interest in the book.

I gave the book 3/5 because of all the historical information found within the text, but for students, this book wouldn't be very appealing or engaging. Certain parts of the book could be used as a research tool, but no middle school student will want to read this book unless they were very interested in the topic.
" said.

"The summer of 1964 was dubbed "Freedom Summer" by the Council of Federated Organizations, a conglomerate of several major civil rights organizations who chose that summer to focus on voter registration in Mississippi. Starting with a vivid description of the disappearance of Mickey Schwermer, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, this book follows many of the other volunteers and activists through the rest of the summer as they tried help African Americans in Mississippi to register to vote. Their struggle was difficult and the dangers were very real. This moving account of that summer is not for the faint of heart, but an important part of history not to forget. Highly recommended for grades 5 and up. " said.

"A deftly told chronicle of the summer of 1964 when civil rights groups focused on Mississippi, sending volunteers from the North to organize Freedom Schools and encourage African-Americans to register to vote in spite of the hostility and danger in that segregated world. Drawing on personal interviews with participants as well as extensive sources, Rubin weaves together a suspenseful, moving chronicle of a pivotal moment in U.S. history. The murder of three civil rights workers lies at the heart of this narrative, and is an important story. This has all you could hope for in a nonfiction book for middle school and teen readers: a well-written text, clear and clearly-explained photographs and drawings from the time, excellent back matter including reproduced documents, a time line, source notes, extensive bibliography and index." said.

"In this well researched book, the author takes us back to 1964 Mississippi, when the nation was shocked by the disappearance--and discovery of the murder--of three Freedom Summer workers, courageous young people who travelled to Mississippi, living with black families, trying to register black voters and opening Freedom Schools to educate black children and their parents. Rubin follows the story chronologically, focusing on specific anecdotes which make the story more immediate for young people. The book is handsomely illustrated with archival photographs and drawings. Back matter includes information on the trial of the main organizer of the murders, who did not face trial into 2005. Information is provided on additional resources; there is also a timeline, source notes, reproduction of original documents, a detailed bibliography, and an index. Excellent nonfiction book for the new common core curriculum. Recommended for students in grades 5 and up." said.

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