Freedom Train

Coleman, Evelyn.  Freedom Train. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.  2008.  ISBN:  978-0-689-84716-5. Grades 4-7.

     Set in the 1940’s South, Clyde Thomason looks forward to a visit from his older brother who is serving in the Marines as a guard on the Freedom Train.  The Freedom Train is a train carrying important United States documents touring all 48 states so that Americans can have the opportunity to view them.  The Freedom Train is not without controversy, as the train will not stop in towns that refuse to segregate the line for those who want to see it.  Clyde is caught up in the injustices that swirl around him as he is befriended by an affluent African American boy who makes him question the assumptions about race and class.  This historical and humorous novel by Evelyn Coleman combines important themes with frogs and stage fright which should keep middle readers turning the pages.

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