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list price: $12.95
also available: eBook
category: Young Adult Fiction
published: Sep 2016
publisher: Second Story Press

Freedom's Just Another Word

by Caroline Stellings

tagged: car & road trips, diversity & multicultural, music

The year Louisiana – Easy for short – meets Janis Joplin is the year everything changes. Easy is a car mechanic in her dad’s shop, but she can sing the blues like someone twice her age. So when she hears that Janis Joplin is passing through her small town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Easy is there with her heart - and her voice - in hand. It’s 1970 and Janis Joplin is an electrifying blues-rock singer at the height of her fame – and of her addictions. Yet she recognizes Easy’s talent and asks her to meet her in Texas to sing. So Easy begins an unusual journey that will change everything.

About the Author

Caroline Stellings

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
12 to 17
7 to 10
Reading age:
13 to 18
  • Short-listed, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens - Spring 2017
  • Short-listed, Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award for Fiction
  • Commended, 49th Shelf's Books of the Year for Young Readers
Editorial Reviews

Time spent with this strong, savvy female protagonist is time well spent...

— Kirkus Reviews

Easy is a believable mix of perceptiveness and naivety, with an engaging and sardonic voice.... Stellings succeeds in providing a vivid glimpse of a little-known slice of Canadian history that will make young readers think more deeply about race and social justice.

— Quill & Quire

Caroline Stellings gives us more than just your typical gal-pal road trip... [she] gives us a fantastic piece of historical fiction that takes us from one extreme to another with a strong relatable character.

— Canadian Children's Book News

A unique story about a fascinating place and time.

— School Library Journal

This is a great coming-of age story set in the still highly racial year of 1970.

— Kutztown Review

With good dialogue, an attractive main character, unexpected humour, and real history thrown in, this is an important book that teens will find compelling reading.

— Winnipeg Free Press

Easy is a delightful character... a charming novel.

— Historical Novels Review

Freedom's Just Another Word is an extraordinary novel with a courageous narrator.... Easy’s journey is not an “easy” one in this novel; however, she makes some very difficult choices with dignity. ... The portrait of Janis Joplin is brutally honest and fascinating, and adds a historical dimension to this beautifully written novel.

— CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Caroline Stellings composes a story that is both embedded in the [1970s] yet universal in its themes of acceptance, tolerance, and family. By taking Easy on a journey both spatially from Saskatoon to Albuquerque and Texas and back, and emotionally as she struggles with acknowledgement of her own family’s secrets and story, Caroline Stellings creates an alluring, cross-country excursion of the soul and heart which ends with finding enlightenment, sometimes closer to home than you might expect.

— CanLit for Little Canadians

Stellings handles these heavy topics deftly, with Easy’s confidence and humour.

— Resource Links

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