Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The Liberation of Gabriel King
Lexile = 780
This book is a perfect example of why I started this blog. You would overlook this book.... I don't know the author, never heard anything about the book, very easy to miss in the library. But.
On the surface, The Liberation of Gabriel King is about friends and the summer of 1976. Gabriel is scared of everything. His best friend makes him write a list of all the things that he is really afraid of. Their plan is to spend the summer dealing with all these fears and working through them. Gabe is mostly afraid of starting fifth grade because of the bigger kids at the school.
Frita, the best friend, makes her own list. One by one they work through the easy things: spiders, centipedes, the basement, and the rope swing over the river.
But this book isn't merely about friends and a fun summer. Frita and Gabe live in Georgia. Frita is black and Gabe is white. Frita's brother (who is on Gabe's list as very scary) has joined the Black Panthers and there is an active Ku Klux Klan in the area.
This book is about hatred and the power of courage in the face of fear.... a quick read that I will think about for a long time.