Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Revolution. (The Sixties trilogy, book two)

Wiles, Deborah.  Revolution.  (The Sixties trilogy, book two)     Scholastic Press  2014  $19.99  ISBN 978-0-545-10607-8      ms/hs   Historical fiction  VG-BN  

Sunny Fairchild and her older stepbrother Gillette sneak into the municipal pool in Greenwood, Mississippi, for a forbidden nighttime swim.  Sunny is alarmed when they discover Raymond Bullis, a black teen, who has the same idea.  That summer, the three come of age in a time of turbulence and change that will eventually be known as Freedom Summer.

Sunny is happy with the status quo but now must deal with her father’s new wife and family, Gillette and Audrey.  Resistant to change, Sunny is constantly
fighting her stepmother’s motherly overtures.  Raymond wants immediate change, with parity for all.  When change doesn’t happen fast enough, he takes matters into his own hands, bringing down the wrath of Deputy Davis. 

To lend even more authenticity to the narrative, Wiles incorporates many archival photographs, pamphlets, posters, snatches of speeches, song lyrics and short biographies of Civil Rights leaders.  But it is seeing how the other half lives through the characters’ eyes that really brings history to life.  Raymond lives on the wrong side of the tracks and his home has no indoor plumbing or electricity.  There is no proper school
for him.  Life is overshadowed by the threats of violence or the loss of income or a job.  It is an eye-opening experience for Sunny and the reader.

Revolution is an excellent addition to the study of the Civil Rights movement.  Author Deborah Wiles has done her research, and even makes it available for student use via Pinterest

Summary: When Sunny and her stepbrother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool, they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.  

Civil Rights-Fiction                                  --Hilary Welliver

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