cover image Revolution


Deborah Wiles. Scholastic Press, $19.99 (544p) ISBN 978-0-545-10607-8

This second installment of Wiles's Sixties Trilogy begins during the Freedom Summer of 1964, when hundreds of college students and community organizers arrived to help Mississippi's disenfranchised black citizens overcome voting hurdles erected by local officials. Sunny Fairchild, 12, has seen newspaper stories about these "invaders" and feels an affinity: her household has been taken over by her father's new wife, her children, and her elderly mother. Still, Sunny plans a summer floating in the (whites only) municipal pool, listening to the Beatles, and finding adventures. A chance encounter with Raymond, a talented young black athlete, sets Sunny on a dangerous course, one that exposes the poisonous racism that has her small town on the verge of exploding. As in Countdown (2010), Wiles intersperses Sunny and Raymond's story with historic photos, excerpts from speeches and news stories, and song lyrics that add power and heft to the story. Though the novel is long, it's also accessible and moving, and it will open many eyes to the brutal, not-so-distant past out of which a new standard of fairness and equality arose. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)