Unfortunately, your access has now expired. But there’s good news—by subscribing today, you will receive 22 issues of Booklist magazine, 4 issues of Book Links, and single-login access to Booklist Online and over 180,000 reviews.
Your access to Booklist Online has expired. If you still subscribe to the print magazine, please proceed to your profile page and check your subscriber number against a current magazine mailing label. (If your print subscription has lapsed, you will need to renew.)
You must be logged in to read full text of reviews.
> Logged-in users can make lists, save searches, e-mail, and more!
> Click My Profile to create a username & password
> Try a free trial or subscribe today
February 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Books and Authors: Talking with Susan Goldman Rubin
The award-winning author discusses the craft of nonfiction and her new book commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of a pivotal chapter in civil rights history.
Young readers study the civil rights movement in school. Most may know something about the March on Washington, Bloody Sunday, the Montgomery bus boycott, and the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. They learn about Martin Luther King Jr., his dynamic leadership, and his dedication to nonviolence on his long journey to gain civil rights for African Americans in the South. Students know about Rosa Parks and her contribution to the movement, and some have heard of the Little Rock Nine. But few have heard of Freedom Summer. They don’t know because many American-history textbooks and trade books for youth about the civil rights movement give little attention to the events that occurred in Mississippi in the summer of 1964.
Now young readers have a new opportunity to learn about this important chapter of the civil rights movement, because Susan Goldman Rubin has written a powerful account of it. Known for her nonfiction works that focus on human-rights issues, Rubin approaches Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (2014) with passion and a commitment to make these events as significant and real as the marches, the bombings, and the sit-ins. The source notes reveal her meticulous attention to detail and her dedication to uncovering the truth. She presents facts with clarity and honesty while also telling a powerful story. The book is arranged by date, beginning in June 1964, when the volunteers arrived in the Mississippi delta, and ending in late August, when they departed. Maps of Mississippi, black-and-white photographs, and drawings created by participants document the activities of the summer volunteers and the people they came to serve. There are expressions of despair and fear, but there is also joy, a sense of hope, and an urgency to complete the task.
Readers will know after reading Rubin’s book that the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a civil rights group that grew out of the lunch-counter sit-ins in the early 1960s, organized Freedom Summer. This group called upon college students from across the country to go to Mississippi and register African Americans to vote and to establish Freedom Schools to educate adults and their children. Though some African Americans were too frightened to participate, many opened their homes to white volunteers. Elected officials and law enforcement in Mississippi felt that this was an overt disregard of the state’s segregation laws. Hostilities erupted, and threats became a daily occurrence. After three volunteers disappeared and were ultimately assumed to have been murdered, people became more anxious. But most participants didn’t allow fear to interrupt their work. No one was more determined than Fannie Lou Hamer, an African American woman who had helped the SNCC organize the groundwork in Mississippi. She was elected vice chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attended the 1964 Democratic Convention, and continued to be a voice for voter rights for the remainder of her life. Rubin dedicates Freedom Summer to the memory of Mrs. Hamer and her followers.
Summer 2014 marked the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer. Readers of all ages may continue to commemorate this occasion by learning about the Mississippi Summer Project through Rubin’s book. When people know the facts and, through Rubin’s account, meet those who made it all happen, then Freedom Summer may finally occupy its rightful place in the history books. In the conversation below, Rubin talks about her motivation for writing the book, her extensive research, and her unwavering dedication to reveal the events exactly as they occurred.
BKL: There are a few books for young readers that provide encyclopedic information about Freedom Summer, but your book allows readers to connect to the people, their passion for their mission, and the sacrifices they made. How did you decide to write about Freedom Summer?
RUBIN: My editor, Mary Cash, knew that I was interested in the civil rights movement. She asked me if I wanted to do a book on Freedom Summer. I vaguely remembered the events of 1964 when three civil rights workers were killed. I mistakenly thought that Andrew Goodman, one of three, had gone to Oberlin College, my alma mater. I had graduated in 1959, and many of my friends were actively involved in the civil rights movement. The murders had greatly disturbed me. I wanted to know what actually happened and thought that this was an important period to research and write about. I discovered that few people knew much about it, even those who were well read, yet it was a turning point in American history. I also wanted to pay tribute to leaders in the civil rights movement whose names were not well known: Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, Charles McLaurin, Leslie McLemore, Lawrence Guyot, and Dave Dennis.
BKL: Tell us about your research process. What was your first source, and where did it lead you?
RUBIN: I started by reading a few books on Freedom Summer written for adults. I learned that many of the Freedom Summer volunteers came from Oberlin, so I contacted the Oberlin Alumni Association. I learned that an article had just been written for the alumni magazine about Oberlin alumni who had participated in the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. I contacted the author of the article, E.J. Dickson, and she put me in touch with people she had interviewed. One of the first I wrote to was Matthew Rinaldi. He gave me an extensive reading list and names of others I should contact. One interview led to another. Martha Honey, another Oberlin alum, told me about Tracy Sugarman, an older artist and writer who had gone to Mississippi intending to observe and record but had wound up participating as well as publishing accounts of his experiences. I had the wonderful opportunity of talking to him by telephone shortly before he died. I was about to receive the Carter G. Woodson Book Award for my book about Leonard Bernstein (Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein, 2011), and the presentation was to be at the meeting of the Social Studies Council in Seattle. Rita Schwerner Bender—the widow of Mickey Schwerner, one of the three who was killed—is a lawyer in Seattle. When I wrote to her asking to see her and told her why I would be in Seattle, she agreed to talk to me. That meeting set me on the right track for focusing my research on Mississippians and the work still to be done.
BKL: You say in the book that an important part of your research was the time you spent in Mississippi. How did the people receive you?
RUBIN: They were warm and wonderful, wanting me to tell this story to readers. Thanks to a helpful former Freedom Summer volunteer, Linda Davis, I got in touch with Stacy White, in Indianola, Mississippi. Stacy had been in charge of previous reunions of the volunteers. It was her great-aunt, Irene Magruder, who had been the first African American in Mississippi to host Freedom Summer volunteers. Stacy became my new friend and guide. Through e-mails and phone conversations, we planned my trip to Jackson and Indianola. With her help, I arranged a meeting with Dr. Leslie McLemore at the Hamer Institute on the campus of Jackson State University. I interviewed Charles McLaurin, a veteran of the civil rights movement who I had read about in books, and he took me on a tour of important sites in the delta. Stacy and another former volunteer, Margaret Kibbee, drove me around Greenwood to see where events had taken place. Stacy invited me to a monthly meeting of the Sunflower County Civil Rights Organization, in Indianola, and I learned more about ongoing problems and concerns.
BKL: What did you find in Mississippi that you couldn’t find in books?
RUBIN: I found out that there is still a struggle for racial equality. Many people live in terrible conditions. Programs have been set up to help prepare African American children academically to meet standards and qualify for college so that they can become leaders in the community. But these children still have to fight for better education in public schools. I visited the Sunflower County Freedom Project, which was inspired by the Freedom Schools set up in 1964. I met some of the students who are involved in the after-school program, and they told me about the different classes they’re taking, everything from fitness and hip-hop to reading American novels and performing in original plays about their own history.
BKL: How do you know when your research is complete and you are ready to write the book?
RUBIN: It helped to have a deadline. We knew we wanted this book to be published in spring 2014, in time for the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer. Yet I kept coming across new information that I thought was vital. Up till the last minute, my editor encouraged me to add stories about my visit to Mississippi and the archival material that I found there. Everyone at Holiday House worked like mad to bring the book out on time. The research is never complete. I keep reading new articles in the paper and seeing documentaries that add fresh information. That’s what makes nonfiction so exciting. It’s an ongoing study.
BKL: The book is organized by date. How did you decide that this time-line approach was the best way to chronicle the summer events?
RUBIN: From experience, I knew that readers prefer a chronological sequence in a work of nonfiction. I wanted this to be a page-turner: suspenseful yet accurate to the best of my ability, based on secondary and primary research. I looked for the narrative line. The story had to begin and end with Freedom Summer, but I needed an additional chapter that we titled “Aftermath” to let readers know how the killers were finally identified and stood trial.
BKL: The photographs greatly contribute to the story. Were you involved in selecting the photographs and the placement of them within the text?
RUBIN: I chose just about all of the photographs we used. I had gained enthusiastic permission from Tracy Sugarman to use his drawings for the book when we talked on the phone before he died. And I discovered many marvelous snapshots taken by Freedom Summer volunteers during their stay in Mississippi. Mary Cash and her valiant assistant, Kelly Loughman, brought some photos to my attention. I often had to track down the source of the photographs to gain high-resolution images and negotiate permission fees to reproduce the pictures. In the process, I talked with some of the photographers who had actually been there during Freedom Summer. One of the most difficult photos to find and use was the one on the cover, by Ken Thompson, who died years ago. The story of how we finally found it is a story in itself and would take a whole article to tell. I suggested places where some of the images could go, but the layout was largely the work of the dedicated design team at Holiday House.
BKL: In your mind, is there an iconic photograph that speaks to the triumphs and sacrifices of those involved with Freedom Summer?
RUBIN: Oh, that’s a very difficult choice. Of course, the FBI missing poster with the photos of Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Mickey Schwerner tells it all. Herbert Randall’s photos of children reading in the Freedom Library and of the Palmer’s Crossing Community Center and Pete Seeger performing there reveal so much. Voter registration canvassing with Dick Landerman sitting on the porch of Hattiesburg resident Horace Laurence tell another part of the story. I’m grateful that we could use as many images as we did in Freedom Summer.
BKL: Your book has now given Fannie Lou Hamer a special spot in the history books. Children will come away from Freedom Summer with the knowledge that she was an important personality in the civil rights movement. What else should children know about Mrs. Hamer?
RUBIN: She continued to fight for civil rights and social change. Even after the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, the Mississippi legislature and many of the state’s counties were making African Americans reregister to vote. Mrs. Hamer worked on voter-education projects. At that time, there were few African Americans holding office in Sunflower County, and she kept talking about the need for change. She advocated rights for women of color. Building on the success of the Freedom Summer schools, she became involved in Head Start programs in Mississippi. To combat poverty, she started Freedom Farm, a cooperative where people could grow and pick their own crops. Infant mortality was almost cut in half as poor people, white and black, ate better food. She opened a day-care center for the children of women working at a garment factory that she had established to provide jobs. Mrs. Hamer’s humanitarian efforts deserve a new book for children. I want to know more about her. She died in 1977, having spent all her of her strength and her meager savings to help others.
BKL: In the book’s epilogue, civil rights veteran Charles McLaurin says, “The Movement never stops.” What are the civil rights issues today that children need to think about?
RUBIN: Children need to think about racism in America and help make changes. They need to think about the vote as a right and responsibility. There are renewed obstacles for African Americans to overcome in order to register to vote. Education, including reading and math skills, is absolutely necessary before an 18-year-old can cast an informed vote about issues that will affect his or her life for the better. Yet public education is not equal in many states, especially in parts of Mississippi. Programs such as the Sunflower County Freedom Project have been established to prepare public-school students to qualify for college and leadership roles. But poverty is a big problem. Mississippi is the poorest state in the U.S. and needs help for the children.
BKL: What is your next project?
RUBIN: My next books are about figures in the arts. Stand There! She Shouted:The Invincible Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron is due out in fall 2014, and I’m finishing work on the forthcoming Putting It Together: The Musical Theater of Stephen Sondheim and Hot Pink: The Life and Fashions of Elsa Schiaparelli. And I am also starting a biography of architect and artist Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Sampling Goldman Rubin
Andy Warhol: Pop Art Painter. 2006. 48p. illus. Abrams, $19.95 (9780810954779). 700. Gr. 4–7.
The Anne Frank Case: Simon Wiesenthal’s Search for the Truth. Illus. by Bill Farnsworth. 2009. 40p. Holiday, $18.95 (9780823421091); paper, $8.95 (9780823423088). 940.53. Gr. 4–7.
The Cat with the Yellow Star: Coming of Age in Terezin. By Susan Goldman Rubin and Ela Weissberger. 2006. 40p. illus. Holiday, $17.95 (9780823418312). 940.53. Gr. 4–7.
Delicious: The Life and Art of Wayne Thiebaud. 2007. 104p. illus. Chronicle, $15.95 (9780811851688). 759.13. Gr. 5–8.
Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People. 2013. 56p. illus. Abrams, $21.95 (9780810984110). 759.972. Gr. 6–10.
Everybody Paints! The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family. 2014. 112p. illus. Chronicle, $16.99 (9780811869843). 759.13. Gr. 6–10.
The Flag with Fifty-Six Stars: A Gift from the Survivors of Mauthausen. Illus. by Bill Farnsworth. 2005. 40p. Holiday, $17.95 (9780823416530); paper, $6.95 (9780823420193). 940.53. Gr. 4–6.
Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. 2014. 128p. illus. Holiday, $18.95 (9780823429202). 323.1196. Gr. 5–8.
Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto. Illus. by Bill Farnsworth. 2011. 40p. Holiday, $18.95 (9780823422517); paper, $8.99 (9780823425952). 940.53. Gr. 3–6.
Jean Laffite: The Pirate Who Saved America. Illus. by Jeff Himmelman. 2012. 48p. Abrams, $18.95 (9780810997332). 976.3. Gr. 1–4.
Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein. 2011. 192p. illus. Charlesbridge, $19.95 (9781580893442). 780.92. Gr. 6–9.
Stand There! She Shouted: The Invincible Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. 2014. 80p. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763657536). 770.92. Gr. 5–8.
Whaam! The Art and Life of Roy Lichtenstein. 2008. 48p. illus. Abrams, $19.95 (9780810994928). 709.2. Gr. 4–7.
Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe. 2011. 112p. illus. Chronicle, $16.99 (9780811869836). 759.13. Gr. 6–9.
After more than 35 years as a school librarian, Pat Scales is a freelance writer and children’s literature advocate and the author of the forthcoming revised edition of Books under FIre: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books.
Freedom Summer Book Connections
The following titles about the civil rights movement make excellent companions to Susan Goldman Rubin’s Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi.
Freedom School, Yes! By Amy Littlesugar. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. 2001. 40p. Philomel, $16.99 (9780399230066). PreS–Gr. 3.
In Chicken Creek, Mississippi, Jolie, a young black narrator, relates what happens when her family houses a white Freedom School teacher in the summer of 1964 and how the teacher makes a difference in her life.
Freedom Summer. By Deborah Wiles. Illus. by Jerome Lagarrigue. 2001; reprinted 2014. 32p. Atheneum, $17.99 (9781481422987); Aladdin, paper, $7.99 (9780689878299). K–Gr. 3.
In the South in the summer just after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a black boy and a white boy forge a friendship and come face-to-face with racism.
Glory Be. By Augusta Scattergood. 2012. 208p. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780545331807); e-book, $16.99 (9780545452328). Gr. 3–6.
In Hanging Moss, Mississippi, in 1964, 11-year-old Gloriana Hemphill, the daughter of a widowed preacher, hasn’t noticed the racial injustices in her town until she meets a girl from the North who points them out to her.
Revolution. By Deborah Wiles. 2014. 544p. Scholastic, $19.99 (9780545106078); e-book, $19.99 (9780545634007). Gr. 3–7.
It’s 1964, and Sunny feels as though her life has been invaded when civil rights workers come to her town of Greenwood, Mississippi, to register blacks to vote. As the summer progresses, she learns about the Summer Project and discovers her own voice in the debate.
The 1964 Freedom Summer. By Rebecca Felix. 2014. 112p. illus. ABDO, lib. ed., $34.22 (9781624032561); e-book, $34.22 (9781624018329). 323. Gr. 6–12.
The eight chapters of this Essential Events series title outline the events of Freedom Summer and include eyewitness accounts of the violence that erupted, those who survived, and the changes created by the Summer Project, not only in Mississippi but throughout the South.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964: Landmark Antidiscrimination Legislation. By Susan Wright. 2005. 48p. illus. Rosen, lib. ed., $29.25 (9781404204553). 342.73085090. Gr. 5–8.
Part of the Library of American Laws and Legal Principles series, this brief and simple overview presents three major topics: the need for the Civil Rights Act, the civil rights movement, and enforcement of the act.
Extraordinary People of the Civil Rights Movement. By Sheila Hardy and P. Stephen Hardy. 2007. 288p. illus. Children’s Press, o.p. 323.092. Gr. 6–9.
Leaders, such as Fannie Lou Hamer, and major events, including the 1964 Summer Project in Mississippi, are briefly covered in this Extraordinary People series volume that chronicles the civil rights movement from 1954 to 1968.
Freedom Summer. By David Aretha. 2007. 128p. illus. Morgan Reynolds, lib. ed., $28.95 (9781599350592). 323.1196. Gr. 7–12.
This entry in the Civil Rights Movement series chronicles the summer of 1964, when the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee conducted the project in Mississippi to register blacks to vote.
The Freedom Summer Murders. By Don Mitchell. 2014. 256p. illus. Scholastic, $18.99 (9780545477253); e-book, $18.99 (9780545633932). 323.1196. Gr. 6–9.
Full of original research and interviews with many personally involved, this book goes into detail about the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi during the summer of 1964 and how the perpetrators were brought to at least partial justice.
Heroes for Civil Rights. By David A. Adler. Illus. by Bill Farnsworth. 2008. 32p. Holiday, lib. ed., $17.95 (9780823420087). 323.092. Gr. 3–5.
The one-page biographical information on each of the featured heroes focuses on their important roles in advancing social justice and includes people like Fannie Lou Hamer and her part in the 1964 Freedom Summer Project.
A History of Voting Rights. By Tamra Orr. 2012. 48p. illus. Mitchell Lane, lib. ed., $29.95 (9781612282626); e-book, $29.95 (9781612283395). 324.6. Gr. 3–5.
The history of how minority groups—blacks, women, and Native Americans—fought to gain the right to vote is presented in this Vote America series volume and includes a discussion about the current issues related to voter suppression and the Latino vote.
Inspiring African American Civil Rights Leaders. By Stephen Feinstein. 2012. 112p. illus. Enslow, lib. ed., $31.93 (9781598451368); paper, $9.95 (9781464400353). 323.092. Gr. 5–12.
The profiles of eight civil rights leaders in this African American Collective biography include Fannie Lou Hamer.
James Forman and the SNCC. By Michael V. Uschan. 2013. 112p. illus. Lucent, lib. ed., $34.80 (9781420509205). 323.092. Gr. 7–10.
This Library of Black History series title discusses the purpose and work of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and includes a chapter that specifically deals with their work with voter registration in the South.
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters. By Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illus. by Stephen Alcorn. 2000. 120p. Houghton, $20 (9780152010058); paper, $9.99 (9780547906041). 323. Gr. 5–8.
These real-life stories include well-known black women, like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Rosa Parks, but there are also stories about women, such as Fannie Lou Hamer, who played an important role in the civil rights movement.
The “Mississippi Burning” Civil Rights Murder Conspiracy Trial. By Harvey Fireside. 2002. 112p. illus. Enslow, o.p. Gr. 6–12.
The legal corruption in Mississippi caused the Supreme Court to order that the trial of the men accused of the deaths of three Freedom Summer volunteers be tried in federal court. This book examines the trial and the convictions of these murderers.
Murder in Mississippi: The 1964 Freedom Summer Killings. By Stephen Currie. 2006. 104p. illus. Lucent, $36.95 (9781590189344). 364.152. Gr. 7–12.
A Crime Scene Investigation Laboratory Manual series title, this examination of the murders of three civil rights workers—Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Michael Schwerner—in Mississippi in 1964 gives details of how FBI agents finally became involved and how they approached the investigation.
Oh, Freedom! Kids Talk about the Civil Rights Movement with the People Who Made It Happen. By Casey King and Linda Barrett Osborne. Illus. by Joe Brooks. 1997. 144p. Random, paper, $12.95 (9780679890058). 973. Gr. 5–9.
This oral-history project, conducted by fourth-graders, presents short interviews with people who lived through the civil rights movement and is divided into three sections: “Life under Segregation,” “The Movement to End Legalized Segregation,” and “The Struggle to End Poverty and Discrimination.”
Selma and the Voting Rights Act. By David Aretha. 2007. 128p. illus. Morgan Reynolds, lib. ed., $28.95 (9781599350561). 324.6. Gr. 5–8.
Violence and lack of support from the government and local law enforcement ended the 1964 Freedom Summer Project in Mississippi, and attention turned to Selma, Alabama, in early 1965, where 99 percent of the voters were white. Part of the publisher’s Civil Rights Movement series.
When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders. By J. Patrick Lewis. Illus. by Jim Burke and others. 2012. 44p. Chronicle, $16.99 (9781452101194); e-book, $16.89 (9781452119441). 811. Gr. 4–7.
These poems about civil- and human-rights activists include James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, the three civil rights volunteers who were murdered in Mississippi in the summer of 1964.
Common Core Connections: Freedom Summer
The following are suggestions for implementing the Common Core State Standards with Susan Goldman Rubin’s Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. You can find more information about the standards atcorestandards.org. An educator’s guide correlated with Common Core State Standards for Rubin’s book is available on the Holiday House website: bit.ly/1ojkzAw
In the Classroom: Ask students to distinguish between a primary and secondary resource. Then have them read “A Memo to Accepted Summer Project Applicants,” by Bob Moses, on p. 104 of Susan Goldman Rubin’s Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Why is this considered a primary resource? Refer students also to the primary account “One Volunteer’s Freedom Summer, 1964,” located on PBS’ website: to.pbs.org/1o2IN81. As a final exercise, have students look at the bibliography of Rubin’s book and make a list of the primary resources that she used to document the information.
Common Core Connections
CCSS.ELA.-Literacy.RH.6–8.9. Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
In the Classroom: After completing Susan Goldman Rubin’s Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi, ask students to write down everything they know about James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, the three men who were murdered during Freedom Summer in Mississippi. Then have students read the poems about these three men in When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders, by J. Patrick Lewis. How accurate are the poems? Ask students to discuss additional information they learned about these men. Finally, instruct students to pick one other person that Rubin features in her book and write a poem about the person. Allow time in class for students to read aloud their poems.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5–8.3. Analyze a detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5–8.9. Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5–8.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5–8.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
In the Classroom: After reading Susan Goldman Rubin’s Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi, encourage older students to watch the following video, aired on Democracy Now!: bit.ly/1p9SnFx. Discuss why some people were angry with Ronald Reagan for announcing his 1980 bid for the presidency in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Write a letter to the editor of the Philadelphia newspaper that articulates that anger.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6–8.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
In the Classroom: Fannie Lou Hamer is featured in Heroes for Civil Rights, by David A. Adler. After sharing information about Hamer in Adler’s title, discuss the qualities of a hero as a class. Then have students select another person introduced in Susan Goldman Rubin’s Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi who was important to the events in Mississippi in 1964, and have each student write a one-page account of that person’s heroism. Encourage peer editing for spelling, grammar, and clarity.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5–8.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5–8.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
> Try a free trial or subscribe today