Book review: The Freedom Summer Murders, by Don Mitchell

Mitchell, Don. The Freedom Summer Murders. Scholastic. 2014. $18.99. 250p. 978-0-545-47725-3. Ages 12-15. P7Q9

Mitchell Freedom Summer MurdersFifty years ago last summer, the Ku Klux Klan killed three Freedom Fighters helping black citizens register to vote. There was no trial for their murder for another 41 years. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner disappeared on June 21, 1964: Mitchell explains the horrific event through original research and interviews, including ones with families of the three men, and biographies of their past. Equally horrifying was the lack of concern about civil rights violations in the South until two white men were killed in their support of the black community. The past few years have seen an acceleration open racism throughout the United States, and this book shows what can happen again without attempts to change the developing bigotry. Black and white photographs that appear to be pasted on the pages make the book appear to be a scrapbook, and the writing is dramatic and clear without going overboard.

Summer 2015 reviews by Nel Ward.


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