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The Liberation of Gabriel Kingby K L Going
When Gabe decides there's no way he can survive fifth grade, his best friend Frita makes him a deal: if they spend the summer facing their fears together, then Gabe must promise to return to school in the fall. And so they face up to the things that scare them most, from Gabe's spider fright and his fear of calling his teacher "Momma" to Frita's more complicated worries, many of which stem from the fact that she is the only black student at a school in Georgia during the 1970s. Will Gabe make it to fifth grade? Read to find out! A note to parents: the humor and the genuine, heartwarming, unlikely friendship will draw younger readers in, but grown-up readers will undoubtedly pick up on the thorny race relations and other political themes woven into the story. The southern lilt and important subject matter makes this a great read-aloud. Highly recommended for the eight to twelve age group.
Synopses & Reviews
Gabriel King was a born chicken. Hes afraid of spiders, corpses, loose cows, and just about everything related to the fifth grade. Gabes best friend, Frita Wilson, thinks Gabe needs some liberating from his fears. Frita knows something about being brave— shes the only black kid in school in a town with an active Ku Klux Klan. Together Gabe and Frita are going to spend the summer of 1976 facing down the fears on Gabes list. But it turns out that Frita has her own list, and while shes helping Gabe confront his fears, shes avoiding the thing that scares her the most.
Set in 1976 Georgia, this is the poignant story of Gabriel, a white boy who is afraid of everything; his best friend Frita, the only black girl in school; and the summer they learn to face down their fears.
About the Author
K. L. Going lives in Beacon, New York.
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