In THE LIBERATION OF GABRIEL KING by K.L. Going (GP Putnam's Sons, c2005, ISBN 0-399-23991-X) Gabriel King and his best friend, Frita Wilson, are living their lives after graduating 4th Grade from Hollowell Elementary.
Both of them have things they are scared of, like spiders and rollerskating on the yellow line of the highway, and Frita thinks this summer is the time for liberation. However, with it being the summer of 1976 and the KKK looming large in Georgia, Frita, the only black girl in Gabriel's class, may have some real fears to face.
It starts out:
My best friend, Frita Wilson, once told me that some people were born chicken.
I really enjoy K.L.'s books for young adults. The characters pop real for me, whether they are the fat, unliked 17-year-olds or the scaredy-pants 4th graders. Her next book, SAINT IGGY, is scheduled to be released in September 2006.