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Freedom Summer
The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi
by Susan Goldman Rubin

Trade Binding | 128 pages | 8 x 10 | US$ 18.95
ISBN: 9780823429202 | 03-01-2014

Also available as an ebook.

Grade: SEVENTH | Age: 10 up

Themes: Human & Civil Rights, African American Interest, 20th Century, Racism & Prejudice, Fairness, Justice & Equality, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Recommendations: A*, C, H, LMC*, K, SLJ*

CCSS Codes:
5-8: RI.1-3, 7, 8; RL.9; SL.1, 3-6; L.4; W.1-9
6-8: RH.2, 4, 7
8: SL.2; L.1, 3

About the Book
Fifty years after the landmark civil rights project in Mississippi, an award-winning author offers a riveting account of events that stunned the nation.

In 1964, Mississippi civil rights groups banded together to fight Jim Crow laws in a state where 6.4 percent of eligible black voters were registered. They recruited thousands of student volunteers from across the United States who defied segregation by living with local black hosts, opening Freedom Schools, and canvassing to register voters. Everyone involved knew there would be risks but were nonetheless shocked when during the first week three civil rights workers disappeared and were found murdered. The organizers' worst fears were realized as volunteers, local activists, and hosts faced terror on a daily basis.

The summer unleashed an unstoppable wave of determination from black Mississippians to demand their rights and helped bring about a new political order in the American South.

The book, which offers new interviews with primary sources, is illustrated with many never-before-seen photographs, historical documents, maps, and drawings.


★ "This meticulously researched, compellingly told account covers an incredible moment in history. . . . [Freedom Summer] is the epitome of excellent historical reporting, with the human element never forgotten."—School Library Journal, Starred Review

★ "This well-researched and heartfelt work covers every angle, thereby honoring the brave inroads made by activists a half-century ago."—Booklist, Starred Review

"A fascinating treatment of a key civil rights moment."—Kirkus Reviews

"Meticulously researched and well documented . . . Firsthand accounts—along with copious black-and-white photographs—bring the events to life."—The Horn Book


ALA Notable Children's Book
Bank Street Best Books of the Year
Booklist Editors' Choices, Books for Youth
Golden Kite Award Winner
NCSS-CBC Carter G. Woodson Honor Book
NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable Book for Young Readers


Exclusive transcripts of the interviews conducted by author Susan Goldman Rubin

In-depth interview with the author

Official press kit

Video interview with the author

Meet-the-Author Book Reading from

Author of the Month at Chicago Public Library with video clip and exclusive interview

Classroom Discussion Questions with CCSS:

1. How does reading nonfiction help us explore and understand our world’s past, present and future? Find examples from Freedom Summer. RH.6-8.1, 2

2. How has the world changed since 1964, and how might it change in the future? RH.6-8.1, 3

3. Describe how Susan Goldman Rubin presents information in the book: sequentially, comparatively, casually. How does she use evidence to support claims in the book? RH.6-8.1, 5

4. Write about a primary and secondary source in Freedom Summer and explain the benefits in presenting firsthand and secondhand accounts of a specific event. RH.6-8.9/WHST.6-8.4


Educators' Guide
FREEDOM SUMMER: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi
Educator's Guide featuring questions for classroom discussion and suggestions for further exploration. Includes connections to the Common Core State Standards. Written by Pat Scales.