Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
Forever Free by Tracy Swinton Bailey

Forever Free

Best Seller
Forever Free by Tracy Swinton Bailey
Hardcover $25.99
Aug 03, 2021 | ISBN 9781635420807

Also available from:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Aug 03, 2021 | ISBN 9781635420807

    Also available from:

  • Aug 03, 2021 | ISBN 9781635420814

    Available from:

*This title is not eligible for purchase to earn points nor for redemption with your code in the Reader Rewards program

Product Details


Forever Free is an inspirational book that dives into the deep inequities in literacy instruction, while also leaving readers with great hope for what powerful literacy instruction looks like and can be if we build on and believe in the inherent strengths of our children. In highlighting the power of the collective, Swinton Bailey reminds us that deep change cannot be accomplished alone, but through collaborative effort.” —Carolyn H. Strom, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Literacy, New York University

“Tracy Swinton Bailey lifts her voice and unwraps her struggles as she shares her story of connecting children of poverty with the freedom born from learning to read. With references to Frederick Douglass throughout the book, the author embodies the echo of his words, ‘Knowledge unfits a child to be a slave,’ in her determination to offer and expand the Freedom Reader model. In her words, she seeks to reshape the winds of change, and she does just that in her reinventing of Freedom Readers to respond to today’s evolving challenges.” —Jacqueline Grennon Brooks, Professor Emerita at Hofstra University and coauthor of Schools Reimagined: Unifying the Science of Learning with the Art of Teaching

“Tracy Swinton Bailey has written a powerful story of her work building a literacy tutoring program that shows how the personal and political are interwoven in school reform. By connecting the threads between literacy and abolition, schools and churches, students and mentors, individuals and community, Bailey invites us to reflect on how the work of literacy is inexorably tied to our shared humanity.” —Justin Reich, Mitsui Career Development Professor of Digital Media, MIT

“Through the prism of her own upbringing and family devotion to reading, Swinton Bailey’s memoir illustrates one of many ways in which public policy, specifically public education and US policy commitment to literacy, has failed Black children and communities of color. Programs like Freedom Readers are ever more important now as the 2020 pandemic has further demonstrated the necessity of supportive educational models outside of school walls, including tutoring for ensuring children’s learning and self-efficacy. Swinton Bailey raises key questions: whose job is it to teach and support literacy? Is it the family, the child, society, or some combination? And, accordingly, how has this failed and who should take responsibility? Using personal narrative to humanize gross societal inequities, including many that she experienced during her own educational and professional path, Swinton Bailey portrays literacy as the scaffolding between children’s home environments and schools, and, in the spirit of Frederick Douglass, an avenue for personal development, growth, and freedom. The memoir weaves in Swinton Bailey’s own reckoning of Christian beliefs and values, optimism about systemic change, and trust in people to do good for themselves and others. In this way, authentic literacy—reading at appropriate levels of proficiency—is rightly positioned as a key mechanism of change.” —Lisa A. Gennetian, Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies, Duke University

Be the first to know!
More from Tracy Swinton Bailey and book picks sent right to your inbox
More from Tracy Swinton Bailey and book picks sent right to your inbox
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top