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The Liberation of Gabriel King

K.L. Going


Grades 4 - 7

For grades 4-7, this is the story of two friends who overcome their fears - one of going to fifth grade and one of racial prejudice. "Full of humanity and humor, this well-paced novel offers a dollop of history with its setting in rural Georgia at the moment local boy Jimmy Carter's presidential bid is gaining momentum. The villains' credibility makes them scary, and both Gabe and Frita's refreshingly functional families are exquisitely drawn..." - Publisher's Weekly Gabriel King believes he was born chicken. He's afraid of spiders, corpses, loose cows, and just about everything related to the fifth grade. If it's a choice between graduating or staying in the fourth grade forever, he's going to stay put - only his best friend Frita Wilson won't hear of it. "Gabe," says Frita, "we gotta do something about you." When Frita makes up her mind she's like a locomotive - there's no stopping her. "First you're going to make a list. Write down everything you're afraid of." Gabe's list is a lot longer than he'd like Frita to know. Plus, he can't quite figure out how tackling his fears will make him brave. Surely jumping off the rope swing over the catfish pond can only lead to certain death...But maybe Frita knows what she's doing. It turns out she's got her own list, and while she's watching Gabe tackle each of his fears, she's avoiding the fear that scares her the most. With wisdom and clarity, K. L. Going explores the nature of fear in what should be an idyllic summer for two friends from different backgrounds. For them, living in a small town in Georgia with an active Ku Klux Klan, the summer of 1976 is a momentous one.

About the Author

K.L. Going is the award winning author of numerous books for children and teens. Her first novel, Fat Kid Rules the World was named a Michael Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association, and was included on YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults list and their list of Best Books for the Past Decade. Her books have been Booksense picks, Scholastic Book Club choices, Junior Library Guild selections, NY Public Library Best Books for the Teenage, and winners of state book awards. They’ve been featured by Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Children's Book Council as Best Books of the year. Her work has also been published in Korea, Italy, Japan, Germany, and the UK, and her novel Fat Kid Rules the World is soon to be an independent film!

K.L. Going

Lessons and Discussion Questions Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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