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Freedom School, Yes!
Amy Littlesugar
illustrated by Floyd Cooper

In 1964, 600 courageous young volunteers went to Mississippi to teach in the Mississippi Summer Project. They taught not only reading and writing, but also the historical legacy of African-Americans.

Freedom School, Yes! tells the story through the eyes of Jolie of one brave teacher, nineteen-year-old Annie, and the courageous family who take her in.

From the start Jolie regrets her mamma's decision to take in the Freedom School teacher. Those fears grow when thugs throw a brick through the window the night the freedom school teacher arrives. Fear turns to terror that keeps some people away, when the night before school begins, the thugs burn down Jolie's church where the school is supposed to meet.

However, Annie, Mamma, and Reverend Wilkins will not give up. Meeting under a hickory tree, Annie opens up the historic legacy of African-Americans to those who come, changing Jolie's life forever.

Freedom School, Yes!

Floyd Cooper's beautiful artwork captures the emotions of the characters well.

The story portrays the ignorant meanness of the attackers, the fear, the influence of the church, the power of education, and the courage of those who labored for change.

Assigned to early reading sections in the library, the reading level is probably for third to sixth graders, though younger children will understand the story read aloud with a little background explained.

Littlesugar includes a bibliography for those who wish to study the Mississippi Summer Project in greater depth.

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