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Leon's Story Hardcover – October 30, 1997


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Hardcover, October 30, 1997
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 970L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (October 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374343799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374343798
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,141,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up. This is one man's story, but one that was shared by thousands of African Americans across the United States before, during, and after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Tillage describes the trials of sharecropping; trying to get an education in an inferior school; and walking a long distance to school while watching a bus full of white children pass him by. The author witnessed the murder of his father when a group of drunken white teenagers ran over the man. What price do you place on a human life? The father of the driver gave Mrs. Tillage 100 dollars and told his son to apologize. He never did. There was never any legal action taken. The events are succinctly and honestly expressed in the author's first-person account. Roth's monochromatic collage art, placed before the beginning of each chapter, documents the sparseness of Tillage's life and its boundaries: home, church, school, work, and the balcony at the movie theater. The last story, "Marching," explains the role of many groups of southerners, representing a number of ethnic groups who supported and helped the marchers. The afterword and note about the genesis of the book are important addenda.?Marie Wright, University Library, Indianapolis, IN
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Tillage, a black custodian in a Baltimore private school, reminisces about his childhood as a sharecropper's son in the South, and his youth as a civil-rights protester. He explains the mechanics of sharecropping and segregation, tells of his mistreatment and his father's murder at the hands of white teenagers out to ``have some fun,'' and relates his experiences with police dogs, fire hoses, and jail while following Martin Luther King's ideas of nonviolent protest. Tillage matter-of-factly recounts horrific events, using spare language that is laced with remarkable wisdom, compassion, and optimism. Such gentleness only gives his story more power, as he drives home the harder realities of his childhood. Although the collage illustrations are interesting, they are too moody and remote for the human spirit behind the words, and readers will regret Roth's decision--especially in light of the boy smiling so brightly on the cover--that ``even one photo would be too many for Leon Walter Tillage's words.'' (Memoir. 8-14) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By avid reader on December 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"Leon's Story" is the 1997 winner of the Elementary School Division of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award given by the National Council for the Social Studies for Multicultural Nonfiction taking place in the United States. The discussions between students and adults will be thought provoking. Questions will abound regarding why a nice person faced such horrid discrimination. I would recommend this for a read-aloud in the upper elementary grades so that the teacher can provide background information. Middle school and junior high students will find this book memorable and would make a great book for discussions regarding ethics, morality, history, social change, and civil rights. I would recommend schools obtaining classroom sets.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Rials on March 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
In this book, Leon's story, it is about a young man named Leon. He was a colored boy who grew up in the times of slavery. Leon has to learn how to act around others of another race so he doesn't get himself in any trouble. Leon also has to learn how to hide from the ku-klux-klan. The most important and shocking part of this book happened on Leon's 15 birthday. On this day Leon's parents go to the store and on their return they are approched by a group of three young white boys driving in their car, the outcome of this is not very good. Most of this book was written in a way so that it was like the author was actually speaking to you person to person. This was a pretty interesting book and if I had to I would probably read it again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I think this book is a good book for readers who like sad, but cool stories. I think one of the sad parts of the book is the part where his father gets run over. I recommend this book for people age 6 and up. Great book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a gut-wrenching true story of a young Black boy who grew up on a farm just outside Raleigh, North Carolina. Although simplistically written, the stories are riveting. It's hard to believe that anyone could be so cruel to someone just because their skin was the wrong color. A must read....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I think Leon's Story is an awesome book! It is about this boy that lives in this horrible world. It is a very sad book, you could cry some and you can laugh some. The saddest part was when Leon's dad got ran over. I think it was real strong of Leon and his family to march to get freedom. I recommend this book to anyone that can read because I think that everyone should read this book and know what they had to go through back in those days. Once again it is a very awesome book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexandria on March 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
Leon's story is about a boy who lives in the segregation times. He is about 12 when he is telling this story. It is his story about his life and how he got through it. He is pretending like this segregation thing isn't even happening. One day he was going to this little restaurant to get something to eat, and black people can't enter in the front way because white people don't like it when they enter that way. Black people have to enter through the back and order something to eat. When black people go back there, there is a white person who waits on them. Leon said that if they want to wait on you they will come. There is no bell or anything like that. Leon will just wait to get waited on and he will order something. This book is really awesome and very educational. I would recommend this book to anyone who can read. The best story element for this book would be the suspense. This book is packed with suspense. It got me guessing all the way through. I really enjoyed this book and I hope you do too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't born? In this book a boy named Leon tells you how blacks were treated back then. One part in the story Leon was at work for his "owner" and the owner brings his dogs out and lets them get Leon! Leon jumps on the car's roof and prays and out of know where a white person comes out and says "If you dont realease that boy then I will shoot the dogs." That time Leon got saved. There are so many other exciting, scary, and sad parts of this book! This was one of the best books that I have read about blacks and whites when they are not rejoiced!
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