It’s Monday and Here’s What I’m Reading: Revolution, by Deborah Wiles

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted byJen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and Sheila at BookJourney


Deborah Wiles’ Revolution is a rich and engrossing story about the Civil Rights movement, and the summer the Freedom Riders travelled to the South in order to help with voter registration.  Here is the back cover copy:

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.

Sunny’s problems with her stepmother stem, in part, from her longing to know more about her own mother: why  did she leave Sunny? will she ever return? does she miss her daughter as much as Sunny misses her?  Gillette, Sunny’s step brother, the one she feels closest to, has troubles of his own to sort through, beginning with his relationship with his volatile father.   And then the Freedom Riders come to town, raising questions about fairness, justice, and the right for all people to be treated equally and to have equal opportunities in society.

Sunny’s journey into awareness is described beautifully, especially because the narrative is interspersed with information about the Civil Rights movement and people involved in the dangerous business of travelling to places like Greenwood, Mississippi to try to change the course of history.  Revolution would be a wonderful selection for our historical fiction book clubs – I can just imagine the rich and meaningful conversations that would flow once my sixth graders get a chance to dive into this story.





8 thoughts on “It’s Monday and Here’s What I’m Reading: Revolution, by Deborah Wiles

  1. I am really interested in this book because I grew up in Jackson, MS. in the 60’s and 70’s. I feel like we were pretty oblivious to the stuff going on. I do remember vividly when the schools desegregated when I was in 4th grade.
    Did you read Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood? Would make a good companion book.
    Is this book out for purchase yet?

  2. I liked Revolution, especially the inclusion of nonfiction pieces, but it is so long that my students have been very reluctant to pick it up. I wish it had been edited to a manageable size!

  3. I loved it, and wish I had time to read Countdown-maybe someday. It was long, but I thought the biggest drawback was its heaviness. I struggled with holding it for long periods. Nevertheless, she wove the story in with the ‘real’ news masterfully. It never slowed. Glad you enjoyed it, too, Tara.

  4. I cannot wait to start reading Countdown and Revolution! So many books and so little time! I’ve read so many positive reviews and I’m really excited to see how Wiles used primary sources in her texts!

  5. I’ve been reading so many great things about this book, dearest Tara. I haven’t read any of Deborah Wiles’ novels yet, so I am now officially intrigued.

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