LAND OF THE FREE
You know that feeling you get when you can finally unbuckle your seat belt after a long trip in a cramped car? Or when the bell rings on the last day of school before summer vacation? Or when you see a wide open field that you can run through without worrying about traffic or cars? That’s freedom.
There are lots of ways to be free in America. Here, you’re free to dress the way you want, speak your mind, and choose the people you want to be friends with. There are also freedoms we enjoy all together as a country, like the freedom to decide on the rules and choose who’s in charge.
In a big country with lots of different people, freedom doesn’t mean you can do anything you want all the time. It’s a free country, all right, but you aren’t free to hurt people or steal their stuff or damage things that aren’t yours. That means that the right to freedom comes with certain responsibilities—to take care of each other, treat people fairly, and make sure that everyone else can live in safety and enjoy their freedom too.
When we celebrate freedom in America we usually do it on July 4th—America’s birthday. What happened on that day? How did it shape the future of freedom in America? What’s the big deal about freedom, anyway?
Copyright © 2020 by Ruby Shamir; illustrated by Matt Faulkner. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.