Early Praise for Freedom Lessons
"Inspired by the author’s real-life experiences, Freedom Lessons is a candid and nuanced novel about a young Northern woman who spends a year teaching in the 1960s Jim Crow South. In the process, she learns more about herself and her country than she ever expected. Freedom Lessons is illuminating and gripping, and a worthy addition to the literature of the civil rights era."
~Amy Hill Hearth, New York Times and Washington Post best-selling author and recipient of two American Library Association Notable Book citations
“This powerful story of lives shaped by school integration in the deep south shows us the fear and deeply-held prejudices that marked the time, the place, and the people. But we also see the kindness, courage, and risks that offered hope and ignited change. Sanchez is a masterful storyteller. Her characters leaped off the page into my heart—where they’ve stayed. Freedom Lessons is a novel that illustrates how far we’ve come, while at the same time reminding us how much more we have to do.”
~Donna Cameron, award-winning author of A Year of Living Kindly: Choices That Will Change Your Life and the World Around You
"A poignant snapshot of the real-life impact of integration in the American south during a single school year in 1969, when one step forward was usually accompanied by another, often worse, step back. A reminder that genuine cultural change requires so much more than the right intentions and a good heart. "
~Rita Dragonette, award winning author of The Fourteenth of September
"In her riveting novel, Eileen Sanchez makes us feel the pain of a Louisiana community as deeply rooted prejudice undercuts school integration. Through her three characters―a white teacher from out of state, a hometown teacher scarred by personal slights, and a high school senior denied a football career when his team is relegated to second string―we experience their heartfelt frustrations while wishing history had treated them more kindly. Sanchez’s fiction gives us a glimpse into the truth of a highly flawed time and place, and the corrosive nature of prejudice that unfortunately persists today."
~Michelle Cameron, author of The Fruit of Her Hands and Beyond the Ghetto Gates