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The Liberation of Gabriel King Hardcover – June 16, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 151 pages
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (June 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039923991X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399239915
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7–In a small town in Georgia in 1976, Gabe King, who is white, and his friend Frita Wilson, who is African American, take on a special project. Gabe is determined not to go to fifth grade in the fall, in the "big kids" wing of the school where he will be one of the smallest students and at the mercy of bullies Duke Evans and Frankie Carmen. Frita, however, has determined to use the summer to liberate her friend from his fears and make sure he moves up with her. Gabe's narrative voice is open, direct, sometimes comic, and maybe a little hysterical: he has many fears, including Frita's teenage, body-building brother, Terrance. However, he agrees to Frita's plan, which includes liberating herself from her much shorter list. Going deftly balances the ugly face of racism with the more powerful forces of understanding, friendship, and family, which run broadly through the novel. Both Gabe and Frita come from loving homes that fully support the vision of brotherhood and equality of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and soon-to-be President Carter, and are committed to making that vision a reality.–Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6. "Could a chicken become a warrior and fight oppression?" Small for his age, Gabriel, 10, is scared of the bullies in his all-white trailer park in small-town Georgia in 1976. His tough best friend, Frita, the only black kid in his class, helps him to overcome his fear, and he's able to stand with her when the Klan threatens. As in Going's Printz Honor Book Fat Kid Rules the World (2003), which was written for an older audience, the characters here are funny and brave and drawn with candor and immediacy. At first Frita is a bit too perfect, too strong and wise, and Going's message sometimes overwhelms the story, as when Frita makes Gabe list his fears, which he overcomes one by one. But there is lots of farce and fun, too--until the quietly building tension peaks with the terror of racist confrontation and the courage of people, adults and kids, who stand up together. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

K.L. Going is the award-winning author of books for children and teens. Her first novel, Fat Kid Rules the World was a Michael Printz Honor Book, listed with YALSA's Best Books for Young Adults and their 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. Her work has been published in Korea, Italy, Japan, Germany, and the UK, and Fat Kid Rules the World is now a major motion picture!

K.L. began her career working at one of the oldest literary agencies in New York City. She used this inner knowledge of publishing to write Writing and Selling the Young Adult Novel -- a how-to book for aspiring writers, published by Writer's Digest. She has also written short stories for several anthologies and currently has multiple picture books under contract. She lives in Glen Spey, NY where she both writes and runs a business critiquing manuscripts. She's also an adoring mom.

To visit KL on-line go to www.klgoing.com, www.facebook.com/KLGoing, or find her on Twitter!

Customer Reviews

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See all 32 customer reviews
I hope you will want to read this book.
Alex
Great story of friendship, loyalty, courage and the power of standing together to right a wrong.
H. Clements
I'm using this book for my 5th grade class, and I'm enjoying it as well as they are.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I loved reading this book. I read all the time and have lots of favorites, now the Liberation of Gabriel King will join them. I had to read a book for 5th grade that was set in the same time period and covered the same topics but it was definately not as interesting. I'm going to tell my teacher she should have her class read this book instead. The characters determination and perseverance was amazing. It was funny reading about the ways Frita conquered Gabriel's fears. I liked it so much I read it in one sitting. I highly recomend this book to anyone 9-13. I think adults would even enjoy it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gae Polisner on June 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this to my 7 and 9 year old boys. We couldn't put it down. It now ranks among our favorites with Tale of Desperaux and Ida B. A true treasure of a book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lynn D. Hoffmann on June 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although this book is targeted at young people in the 10-14 age bracket, I enjoyed it very much as an adult. I purchased it for my grandson and he has called me up to tell me "what happened next" two nights in a row. Engaging characters and an important life lessons are neatly woven into an adventure tale of two young people in a little town over a hot summer. If you buy it for your children or grandchildren, read it first. You'll enjoy it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jenn on January 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for Christmas for my 10 year old (4th grade). He will read a chapter and then come find me and read it to me all over again because he thinks it is so funny. He has to read 1/2 hour everyday for school requirements and he will continue to read this book for over an hour. Gets him away from the computer and GameCube games. Hurray.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Zook Friesen on June 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
KL Going does it again - a spectacular book geared for kids, but appeals to all ages. Going addresses difficult issues in ways that kids can understand without oversimplifying. I was moved to tears and laughter both times that I read Liberation. I look forward to seeing what comes next from Going's pen ...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on June 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
THE LIBERATION OF GABRIEL KING is a timeless story of friendship set in a small Georgia town during the summer of 1976. Frita Wilson decides that she needs to liberate her best friend, Gabriel King, from his fears.

A disastrous end-of-fourth grade Moving Up Day ceremony where Gabe is bullied by some classmates is the catalyst for Frita's brilliant plan. She decides that she and Gabe need to list all of their fears and spend their summer methodically trying to overcome each one of them. Gabe's list of fears is long and includes spiders, loose cows, Frita's basement, and most of all, fifth grade. Frita's list is shorter, but since she is the only black child attending a white school, she may have the hardest fears to overcome.

Ms. Going seamlessly weaves in a subplot about the upcoming Presidential election of Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer from Georgia. When Gabe tells stories of Mr. Carter's peacemaking and non-tolerance for prejudice to Frita's family, it helps cement their friendship even further. This story, told in the first person by Gabe, is about courage and the meaning of true friendship.

K. L. Going lives in Beacon, New York. THE LIBERATION OF GABRIEL KING is her second novel. She is also the author of FAT KID RULES THE WORLD, an ALA best book for young adults. Currently she is writing from home and working part-time at Merritt Bookstore in Cold Spring, NY. She likes for her characters to experience a range of emotions, and she tries to capture the good and bad feelings of young people in her novels.

Fear is a feeling that all readers, both young and old, can relate to. Readers can connect to Gabriel King and may even learn a thing or two about conquering their own fears by reading THE LIBERATION OF GABRIEL KING.
[...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dawn De Lorenzo on March 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am a middle school language arts teacher and I read just about every new title that gets any hype. This book did not disappoint! The plot is well developed and the characters are endearing...Frita is so spunky while Gabe is a quirky scardy-cat afraid of his own shadow. Both Frita and Gabe learn a great about life, love, fear, racism and the nature of hate the summer before they enter fifth grade. In the end they realize that fear is a part of life - bravery is feeling the fear and forging ahead despite it. Great read HIGHLY recommended!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shelly Rae on July 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
On vacation our family read this book out loud for our library's book club. My husband and I (40+ years old) and my two boys- 10 & 6 both adored this book. In the span of 160 pages we all had the opportunity to learn life lessons, grow to be more brave, laugh and most importantly learn about how love will always conquer hate. We do not live in a very diverse area of the country and this book was a wonderful way to introduce to our children the stuggles that African Americans have had to deal with and why civil rights are so important in this country. I had a lump in my throat when the book discussed how the Bicentennial was being celebrated and not all Americans were still being treated as Free. It isn't a book I would have ever had known about without our wonderful librarian and it will be one that none of us will soon forget. Don't be deterred by some of the serious subjects dealt with in this book, there were far more laughs than most books have. It was entertaining and a joy to read. It is a great book for parents and children.

(one last thought...I would not have liked my son to read this book without us because he would have never fully understood why there was such hate for a 10 year old black girl and why grown men dress in sheets. As disgusting as it is that people practice such hateful acts it is a reality that exists and children who are old enough to understand should not be sheltered from truth. The sooner we can educate our children about equality the better this world will be. )
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