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Freedom抯 School

by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrated by James E. Ransome

Published by Jump at the Sun / Disney, 2015
32 pages
ISBN: 978𢴒23161035

Ages 510

This portrait of a fictional community抯 efforts to establish a school for African American children begins on the title page with an illustration of the newly arrived teacher and a newspaper beside her on the bench with the headline 揟hirteenth Amendment Ends Slavery. Lizzie and Paul抯 Mama tells them that 揵ein free means we got to work harder than ever before. And I don抰 just mean in the field. Real freedom means 抮ithmetic and writing. After the children start attending a one-room school house where classes are taught by an African American woman, they face some obstacles, including harassment from white boys during the walk to school. But the real challenge comes when the school is burned down. Paul and Lizzie try to continue practicing their reading and writing at home. When the weather gets warmer, Mizz Howard teaches outside, on the site of the burned-down school. In the background, the children can see and hear a new school being built. The dramatic story is told through Lizzie抯 distinctive voice, while the pencil and watercolor illustrations add historical detail.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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