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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, 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.
Parallel narratives of two children—one black, one white—propel the reader into the events and emotions of Freedom Summer, 1964, in Greenwood, Mississippi. Peppered throughout the fiction, Wiles deftly places nonfiction—politics to pop culture: quotes, articles, editorials, biographical sketches, songs, and a wealth of visual materials that provide historical context. Compelling characters and multiple perspectives immerse readers into the texture of that tumultuous time and invite them to reflect on issues today.