Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Historical Fiction
Freedom Train

Freedom Train

Spring 2008 Historical Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Evelyn Coleman
Illustrator: David Riley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 0689847165
Hardcover Price: $15.99
In 1947,Clyde, who lives in Atlanta's mill town area, called "Cabbagetown," is proud that his older brother has been selected to be one of the twenty-eight Marines chosen to protect the precious contents of "The Freedom Train": copies of the Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. Although Clyde has been chosen to recite "The Freedom Pledge" when the train stops in Atlanta, he is terrified of public speaking and declines the honor. He is upset when his nemesis, the son of the cotton mill owner where his mother works, inherits the job. When this bully knocks him out with a plank, Clyde is startled to find himself rescued by a "colored boy," William Dobbs III, and even more surprised to learn that William's family lives in the white rich part of town. Clyde is uncertain and uneasy about how to respond to the overtures of friendship from a colored boy.

The background of the times rings true as our hero struggles with fear and issues of right and wrong. Through a tough choice and a brave act, our hero steps into a different future. Coleman weaves a captivating look at history with questions young adults face today.

Kemie Nix   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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