Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE LIBERATION OF GABRIEL KING by K.L. Going Kirkus Star

THE LIBERATION OF GABRIEL KING

By K.L. Going

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-23991-X
Publisher: Putnam

It’s the summer of 1976 in a small town in Georgia. Gabriel King has just finished fourth grade and is scared about fifth. In fact, he’s scared of many things: spiders, alligators, falling into the toilet, killer robots, corpses, swinging off the rope swing, his neighbor Mr. Evans and bullies at school. His best friend Frita is out to liberate Gabriel from his fears. She has him make a list of them and work through them one at a time. However, Frita, who is African-American, has fears of her own and the story becomes a study of standing up to fears and to bullies, from the schoolyard to the Ku Klux Klan. Strong voice, lively dialogue, humor and important themes make this a winner. Readers will enjoy following the sometimes-tempestuous friendship of Gabriel and Frita, and they’ll be completely absorbed in watching the friends and their community come together to stand up against the evil within. (appendix) (Fiction. 10+)