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The Liberation of Gabriel King

Review

The Liberation of Gabriel King

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.

Reviewed by Renee Kirchner on June 16, 2005

The Liberation of Gabriel King
by K. L. Going

  • Publication Date: June 16, 2005
  • Hardcover: 151 pages
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 039923991X
  • ISBN-13: 9780399239915