1 Oct

I will turn 50 in December. I am actually very OK with that. I wish the body wasn’t as creaky as it has become, but I am much more confident at 50 than I ever was at 30.

1964 was a tumultuous year and tumult makes for good reading.Here are 2 books set in the tumult of 1964.


Deborah Wiles’ Revolution is second book in her Sixties’ trilogy. It is set in Mississippi during Freedom Summer and, like Countdown, uses words and images to make the reader feel more connected.The inclusion of primary sources is very effective and explains why this title is being mentioned as a contender for a variety of book awards.

From the publisher:

It’s 1964, and Sunny’s town is being invaded. Or at least that’s what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote. They’re calling it Freedom Summer.

Meanwhile, Sunny can’t help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe. And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool, where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.

As she did in her groundbreaking documentary novel Countdown, award-winning author Deborah Wiles uses stories and images to tell the riveting story of a certain time and place, and of kids who, in a world where everyone is choosing sides, must figure out how to stand up for themselves and fight for what’s right.

The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell focuses on one aspect of the summer of 1964.


This is a non-fiction book that takes a comprehensive look at the brutal murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, through to the conviction in 2005 of mastermind Edgar Ray Killen. It is well researched, written and documented.

Both of these books are published by scholastic, who has some online Guide to Teaching and Talking About the Civil Rights Movement With Books for Children and Teens. Both books are certainly the sort of thing teachers are looking for to support Common Core Standards.

One Response to “1964”

  1. The Styling Librarian October 2, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Can’t wait to read both! 🙂

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