Review Blog

Aug 12 2015

Freedom Ride by Sue Lawson

cover image

Walker Books, 2015. ISBN 9781925126365
Recommended age: 8-12 years. Sue Lawson examines the racial tensions of 1965 in Freedom Ride. Written for an 8-12 year old audience, it is set in the fictional town of Walgaree. For young Robbie, life is bleak living as he does with his nagging grandmother and silent father . . . doing all the jobs around the house for his grandmother and when that's done, for all her friends too. His father ignores him most of the time, although he's surprisingly supportive of Robbie's holiday job at the Walgaree Caravan Park. Much is written about Robbie's work experience at the park, and of his budding friendship with the owners - all of which might hold the key to Robbie's freedom.
Soon however, trouble comes to Walgaree: broken windows at the Station school and a fight at the waterhole results in the Aboriginal children getting the blame. However, a handful of white townie kids know the truth is a different story. Then, to cap it all off, Barry, Robbie's employer, takes on another helper - Micky, the young Aborigine accused of attacking one of the local white lads. When a death near the Station is 'covered up' and the freedom riders come to town things reach boiling point. How will things sort out for Robbie who already has issues with his father and grandmother, and yet he puts his neck on the line to defend his Aboriginal friend Micky?
Freedom Ride is a work of fiction based on true events and introduces young readers to the racial tensions of the 'mid-60's. In Australia the Freedom Ride movement (Student Action for Aborigines: SAFA) loosely based on the American Freedom Ride movement of the early '60's, was initiated by a group of Sydney University students. Attracting much national and international media attention, SAFA achieved much in its short life, and this novel brings the history of that era to modern young Australians.
Colleen Tuovinen

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2017
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates