Grades 6 - 8
Grade level Equivalent: 4.9
Lexile® Measure: 760L
Guided Reading: T
- Historical Fiction
- Extended Families
- Segregation and Integration
- African American
- Prejudice and Tolerance Experiences
About This Book
When Papa arrives home from lumbering on the Natchez Trace, he tells his son, Hammer Logan, "Another thing you ought to be knowing at thirteen is that you don't lay out a white boy, not down here in Mississippi, not unless you want to find yourself hanging from a tree." Too late. Hammer already did lay out a white boy — the deep down mean Charlie Simms — and this is Mississippi in 1910. Adding fuel to the tinderbox, there is a drought and only one well in the community still has water. That well is on the Logan's land, and black and white alike depends on it. Tension between Hammer and Charlie mounts until their personal troubles become a public issue when Charlie's cruelty has consequences for the whole community. Then the nearly unprecedented occurs: a white boy is called upon by the community to account for his behavior toward a black boy.
This ALA Notable Book, one of several books about the Logan family, is also an American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists," and received a starred review from the School Library Journal. Mildred D. Taylor received the 1977 Newbery Medal for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and has received three Coretta Scott King awards, a Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, two Christopher Awards, and eleven nominations for state children's book awards.
This book may be included in studies of African American History, American History, History of the Southern United States, State History of Mississippi, African American authors, Race Relations, and Oral Traditions. Ms. Taylor draws upon the stories told by and about her family members and ancestors when writing her novels.
"A compelling novel about prejudice and the saving power of human dignity." — School Library Journal