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Books:Kids Books and Atlases:History:Freedom Riders

Freedom Riders

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$18.95 Sale Price:   $10.00

Price: $18.95 Sale Price:   $10.00

Item#:54173C

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The Freedom Riders were a group of men and women from many different backgrounds and ethnicities who boarded buses, trains and planes headed for the deep South to test the 1960 U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing racial segregation in all interstate public facilities.Freedom Riders compares and contrasts the childhoods of original Freedom Riders John Lewis and James Zwerg in a way that helps young readers understand the segregated experience of our nation's past. It shows how a common interest in justice created the convergent path that enabled these young men to meet as Freedom Riders on a bus journey south.

These two young men, empowered by their successes in the Nashville student movement, were among those who volunteered to continue the Freedom Rides after violence in Anniston, Alabama, left the original bus in flames with the riders injured and in retreat. Lewis and Zwerg joined the cause knowing their own fate could be equally harsh, if not worse. The journey they shared as freedom riders through the Deep South changed not only their own lives but our nation's history.

  • Ages 10 and up
  • 64 pages
  • 8 1/2'' x 10 7/8''
  • Hardcover
  • © 2005

John Robert Lewis was born to sharecroppers in Troy, Alabama in 1940. As a college student he was president of the civil rights organization the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and spoke at the same Washington March of 1963 at which Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered. Since 1987, Lewis has represented the 5th district of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives.

James Zwerg, a white student from Appleton, Wisconsin's Beloit University, became heavily involved in the civil rights movement and SNCC during an exchange semester at the predominately black Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. As one of the original Freedom Riders, he was severely beaten and disfigured by white mobs in Alabama. His experience with the Freedom Rides deepened his commitment to ministry and he later attended Garrett Theological Seminary, in Evanston, Illinois, and served as a minister in the United Church of Christ.


"In another excellent work of nonfiction, the author of the acclaimed With Courage and Cloth (Ann Bausum; 2004), covers a civil rights topic…the 1961 Freedom Rides. Bausum focuses on two college students from strikingly different backgrounds. Incisively illustrated with archival photos…exhaustive, useful end matter concludes, including resource listings, a bibliography, and citations for quotes."—starred review, Booklist