Author: Deborah Wiles
Illustrator: Jerome Lagarrigue
Genre: Children’s Lit, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Aladdin Paperbacks: New York, NY 2001
Awards: Coretta Scott King Award, Ezra Jack Keats Book Award
Themes: Friendship, Segregation, Freedom, Perspective
Summary: Two boys have the summer of their lives! They race each other, swim in a creek, dream about the future, and enjoy summer to it’s fullest. It gets even better than that. They find out that the town pool is now open for everyone because segregation laws change. Eager to be able to swim together they head to the pool, come to find out it’s closed. How could that be? How did the laws changing affect the community?
Response: What did you learn about the time in which the book was set? Do you think the time period was described accurately? How do you know?
In this text you learn more about the time period because two boys of a different class are playing together and best friends, which is not a common sight. When the laws about segregation start to change on a national level, it would seem that things would change immediately and be a smooth and perfect process. The actual adjustment was a difficult transition as portrayed in this story because communities did not accept the change and made other arrangements instead, like in this book filling in the public pool.