Joe and John Henry are best friends growing up in the South. It's summertime and they love sharing ice pops and swimming in the creek. They're just two boys with dreams but one is white and one is black. One can go into the store to buy the ice pops and one has to wait outside. One swims in the town pool. One has to swim in the creek. Then, news comes that the town pool is going to be opened up to all -black and white. The two boys run down to dive into that cool blue water. This is a wonderfully powerful story of the change that is possible and the hope that lies with our children to make our world a better place.
32 pages 978-0689878299 Ages 6-10
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
John Henry swims better than anyone I know. He crawls like a catfish, blows bubbles like a swamp monster, but he doesn't swim in the town pool with me. He's not allowed. Joe and John Henry are a lot alike. They both like shooting marbles, they both want to be firemen, and they both love to swim. But there's one important way they're different: Joe is white and John Henry is black, and in the South in 1964, that means John Henry isn't allowed to do everything his best friend is. Then a law is passed that forbids segregation and opens the town pool to everyone. Joe and John Henry are so excited they race each other there...only to discover that it takes more than a new law to change people's hearts.--from the publisher
Lesson Plan suggestion:
I particularly like to use Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles, illustrated by Jerome Lagarrique. There is a 2-4 lesson plan in my elementary reading comprehension book. See Lesson Plan 6.3 graphic organizers at: http://www.alaeditions.org/web