Audio Book Tour: 11/08/21-11/30/21 “Freedom Lessons” by Eileen Harrison Sanchez

Chosen as a 2020 Pulpwood Queens Book Club pick

2019 Best Book Awards Finalist in Fiction (Multicultural)

Book Release Date: November 12, 2019

About The Book:

Told alternately, by Colleen, an idealistic young white teacher; Frank, a black high school football player; and Evelyn, an experienced black teacher, Freedom Lessons is the story of how the lives of these three very different people intersect in a rural Louisiana town in 1969.

Colleen enters into the culture of the rural Louisiana town with little knowledge of the customs and practices. She is compelled to take sides after the school is integrated—an overnight event for which the town’s residents are unprepared, and which leads to confusion and anxiety in the community—and her values are tested as she seeks to understand her black colleagues, particularly Evelyn. Why doesn’t she want to integrate the public schools? Frank, meanwhile, is determined to protect his mother and siblings after his father’s suspicious death—which means keeping a secret from everyone around him.

Based on the author’s experience teaching in Louisiana in the late sixties, this heartfelt, unflinching novel about the unexpected effects of school integration during that time takes on the issues our nation currently faces regarding race, unity, and identity.

About The Author:

Eileen Harrison Sanchez is now retired after a forty-year career in education. She started as a teacher and ended as a district administrator. She has been writing part time for seven years with a writers group in Summit, NJ ( Eileen is a member of the Historical Writers of America, Historical Novel Society, Philadelphia Stories Writers Community, Goodreads American Historical Novels Group, and several online writers groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. A reader, a writer, and a perennial—a person with a no-age mindset—she considers family and friends to be the most important parts of her life, followed by traveling and bird watching from her gazebo. Learn more at

Social Media:



Twitter: @EileenHSanchez

Book Blurbs: 

When ‘all deliberate speed’ becomes ‘all of a sudden,’ not much changes. An intermittently potent illustration of the formidable obstacles to equality that remained―and persist―post-Brown v. Board of Education.”―Kirkus Reviews

“This powerful tale offers a beacon of hope that individuals can inspire change.”―Library Journal

“ . . . a deftly crafted novel that, although a work of fiction, is based on the author Eileen Sanchez’ personal experience teaching in Louisiana in the late sixties. Freedom Lessons is heartfelt, unflinching novel, and inherently riveting novel about the unexpected effects of school integration during that time takes on the issues our nation continues to face regarding race, unity, and identity.”―Midwest Book Review

“Freedom Lessons is a captivating and well-written story. Reading this book has changed me personally and professionally. The Deep South no doubt plays its role―the further you read in the story, the more hot and humid it starts to feel around you. Eileen succeeds where historians and academics like myself fail―recounting major societal events through the inescapable and complex humanity of her characters. A distinguished educator herself, Eileen fully delivers on the challenge of framing what teaching and learning was during this era, and Freedom Lessons forces us to ask the question of what it should be now.”―Michael R. Hicks, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Education, Centenary College of Louisiana

”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

”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

”Told in alternating viewpoints, this impressive novel reaches back in time to the early days of school integration, and to a place in America where resistance to integration was substantial.”―Historical Novel Society

Bloggers On Tour:

Nov. 8th – Laura’s Next Chapter

Nov. 10th – Dani Reads

Nov. 10th – Subakka Bookstuff

Nov. 11th- American Lit Teacher

Nov. 12th- Lindas Book Obsession 

Nov. 12th- Reading With Remy

Nov. 15th- ML Book Love

Nov. 16th- Shooks Books

Nov. 16th-Coffee Books Dogs

Nov. 17th- Sho Biz Reads

Nov. 19th- Joannas Bookshelf

Nov. 23rd -Rozier Reads and Wine

Nov. 29th – Bookish Heidi

Nov. 29th- Miss W Book Reviews

Nov. 30th- Reecas Pieces Books 

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