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Selected for Inaugural List of 25 Books Every Young Georgian Should Read!


Children’s Literature Review: “This book was an unexpected pleasure and a strong work. Its detail is beautiful and, at times, painful. Its voice jumps out at you from the first page and does not lose its potency throughout the rest of the work. The reader genuinely likes and becomes involved with Clyde and his family. This is a must-read. Reviewer: Monserrat Urena

Kidreads.com: “FREEDOM TRAIN is a powerful historical fiction title that illustrates the evils of segregation and discrimination for a younger audience. Children will want to read and discuss this timely and important book with their parents and teachers.” Reviewer: Carole Turner

Publisher’s Weekly: “Coleman convincingly depicts Clyde's gradual awakening to the racism that surrounds him, as well as the prejudice his impoverished family faces.”

Kirkus Reviews: Clyde Thompson may be the shortest 12-year-old in seventh grade, but he learns to stand tall in this story about the Freedom Train's arrival in Atlanta in 1949. “A fine story of a moment in history when times were changing and the Freedom Train reminded Americans of their better selves.” (author's historical note) (Fiction. 8-12)

From Superintendent, Opelika, Alabama School District:

Ms. Coleman opened the hearts and minds of not only our students but our teachers and parents. Her spirit touched all of us.”

One of the best school visits ever: I spent a week visiting all the elementary schools in Opilika.

Evelyn Coleman paints a touching, often humorous picture of the 1940s South. Based on the real journey of the Freedom Train, that traveled to 322 cities in the US in 1947- 48, this is the inspirational story of a young boy's awakening to the injustices around him -- and to the idea that things could change.