My Books

The Last Brazil of Benjamin East

The Last Brazil of Benjamin EastA big-hearted, compelling, zany, funny, fast-paced novel. It takes courage to believe in your dreams, and after heartbreaking failures, it takes courage to go on dreaming. Returning to America in the twilight of his life with an old valise, an irascible parrot, and an expired U.S. passport, Benjamin East still dares to dream big. When Benjamin meets Amy McCafferty, they recognize in each other an unbreakable belief in infinite possibilities.





“Tender-hearted and provocative from beginning to end, The Last Brazil of Benjamin East is an engaging read and destined to be an award winner.”

San Francisco Book Review


From Cradle to Grave: The Human Face of Poverty in America

From Cradle to Grave: The Human Face of Poverty in America

“If ever poverty is to be lessened, and its predisposing social ills, we must focus on enhancing and fulfilling the positive in human life from the cradle to the grave, as this book so aptly suggests. Once poverty has become a way of life it is already too late.”

Dr. Jonas Salk, developer of polio vaccine




“When I traveled around America holding hearings for the National Commission on Children, I looked into the faces of parents and children struggling to survive against incredible odds. From Cradle to Grave brings their faces to life with the vividness of powerful nonfiction and the passion of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist writing at his peak. By documenting real success stories, Jonathan Freedman conveys a practical message of hope that we can deal with our social problems. I recommend it highly to readers in your house and the White House.”

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Chairman
National Commission on Children


“Jonathan Freedman feels the lives of his subjects, and he conveys their lives with much respect and sympathy. He has written a story about poor people, not poverty; about achievers, not achievement. This is a careful, thoughtful, hopeful, and helpful book.”

Roger Rosenblatt, author and retired columnist for TIME magazine


“Jonathan Freedman has shown us the tragic face of poverty, and it is the face of a child: neglected, abused, and abandoned. From Cradle to Grave demonstrates that even at this late date, it is possible to rescue millions of American children from lives of poverty, hopelessness, crime and drugs – if we have the will to act and the wisdom to invest in their future.”

Congressman George Miller, Chairman
House Select Committee on Children

Wall of Fame: One Teacher, One Class, and the Power to Save Schools and Transform Lives

Wall of Fame: One Teacher, One Class, and the Power to Save Schools and Transform LivesMary Catherine Swanson, the educational pioneer profiled in Wall of Fame, was named “Teacher of the Year 2000” by Time magazine and CNN. Swanson founded AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) in 1970. From one classroom with 32 students, it has spread to hundreds of classrooms and tens of thousands of students across America.


Buy WALL OF FAME at Amazon


Praise for WALL OF FAME:

“This is a book for any parent or teacher who ever wondered why their obviously bright kids were not fulfilling their potential. It tells how AVID is saving children and their schools.”

Jay Mathews, Washington Post, education columnist


“Jonathan Freedman is a beautiful prose stylist… a very positive writer.”

Patricia A. O’Connell, author, Commonwealth


“A wonderful book about a true American heroine, Mary Catherine Swanson, who developed the AVID program that literally changes the life outcomes of thousands of students whom society would have consigned to its scrap heap.”

Gene I. Maeroff, Director, Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media
Teachers College, Columbia University

The Man Who’d Bounce the World

The Man Who’d Bounce the WorldBrought together by a freak coffee frost, four strange, fantastic, and unlikely heroes embark on an epic quest to free oppressed coffee workers of a Brazilian plantation from their manipulative, greedy and unrelentingly racist overlord. But what can a nutty watermelon-shaped man, a spurned she-lawyer, a frustrated journalist, and a misanthropic parrot do against the power of the Brazilian coffee cartel?





“A light-hearted, humorous blend of the real, the fantastic, and the funny… A story of ordinary people who set out on an extraordinary adventure, to change a world haunted by prejudice, greed, and hatred.”

Saki Shinoda, student
International School of Basel, Switzerland


BounceContemporary literature for youthful adults, mature young people, and ageless seniors. Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Freedman’s Everyman, Stanley Scuka, embarks on a Brazilian adventure to save the world. Freedman illustrated the book.



Buy BOUNCE at Amazon



Praise for BOUNCE:


Thornton Sully, author


“Jonathan’s work is also naked in its honesty, joyful in its poetry, and food for the heart. Bounce bounces! I wish everyone a great ride in Jonathan’s world of small wisdom with a big embrace….”

Bruce, Reader Review