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January 17, 2009

The Friendship

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The Friendship

Author: Mildred D. Taylor

Page Length: 53

Reading Level: 5

Genre: Realistic Fiction     

PLOT SUMMARY: Cassie Logan and her brothers are not supposed to go to the Wallace’s general store, because “the Wallace’s don’t treat our folks right”.  However, they are at the store when Mr. Tom Bee (an elderly black man) addresses the storeowner, John Wallace, by his given name.  In the 1930’s the accepted practice of black men speaking to white men was to use “Mister”. 

However, the Logan’s were not aware that Mr. Tom Bee had saved Mr. Wallace’s life not once, but twice when they were younger men.  At that time, Mr. Wallace had given Mr. Tom Bee permission to call him by his first name for the rest of his life.  As times changed, and racism became stronger, Mr. Wallace was ridiculed by his sons and the townspeople for the manner in which the old black man spoke to him. A lifelong friendship is destroyed because of racial prejudices.

REVIEW: This is a short book that introduces the reader to Cassie Logan and her brothers who live in Mississippi in 1933.  They experience racial prejudices from an early age and realize there isn’t much that can be done about the injustices they must endure.

I think this book could be used as an introduction to a study of the Civil Rights Movement.  

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: p.50-51 (Mr. Wallace shoots Mr. Tom Bee)

AREAS OF TEACHING: Historical context, Setting, Compare/Contrast, Characters, Theme, and Voice, Mood, and Tone

RELATED BOOKS: Roll of Thunder; Hear My Cry, Leon’s Story, To Kill a Mockingbird, Witness

MOVIE CONNECTIONS: Roll of Thunder; Hear My Cry (1978), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)


REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

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