Monday, February 15, 2016

Black History: Mississippi Bridge

Storytelling is in Mildred D. Taylor bones. Her father was a master storyteller, so it is no wonder that Mildred decided to write stories. Her stories were different from those taught in her school...

          "It was a history of ordinary people, some brave, some not so brave, 
          but basically people who had done nothing more spectacular than 
          survive in a society designed for their destruction."

Mississippi Bridge is also different from her other books as well. This story is told from the point of view of Jeremy Simms, a white boy who was in an earlier Logan Family book.

What I really like about this book is that it is a novella. It is short enough to get through during Black History Month. But don't let it fool you. It packs a punch for sure! It is really geared more towards 5th - 7th graders...but could be read in higher grades as well.

As with Rosa, this story deals with African Americans and busses.

I do not want to get into this story as I truly want you to read it.But I will share some of her language in the book...

        ...a steady, big drop kind of rain that had roads all slopped up 
        outside and ceilings kA swollen up and leaking inside.

       It was a rickety old thing, that wooden bridge...

       My ole feet just couldn't seem to pick theysleves up and flatten
       down one more time.

You can see that the dialect will be thick in the book. But it is well worth the read. It is only 62 read it before you have your students read it. Decide if you think your students can handle the story.