Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Grocery Introducing Handmade New Kitchen Scale from AmazonBasics Amazon Gift Card Offer gdwf gdwf gdwf  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage  McCartney Shop Now Retro Toys Deal

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Dust jacket in Has dustjacket condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Mississippi Chariot Hardcover – November 1, 1994

3 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$10.42 $2.31

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
"The Blackthorn Key" by Kevin Sands
A stunning debut novel from Kevin Sands loaded with suspense, mystery, and unforgettable characters. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7-Depression-era rural Mississippi is a good time and place for blacks to keep their heads down and their mouths shut, but Rufus Jackson has been two years working on the chain gang for a car theft he didn't commit, and on his 12th birthday, Abraham Lincoln "Shortning Bread" Jackson decides to get his father back, somehow. One of a large, hardworking sharecropper family, Shortning Bread is enterprising and intelligent, an appreciative butterfly watcher who chews over the ethics of trickery v. open confrontation. Against his better judgment, he develops a secret friendship with Hawk Baker, son of the (white) postmaster. In the end, although Shortning Bread creates a stir by starting a rumor that the FBI is coming to town, it's Hawk's father who actually brings Rufus home. Knowing that his return will inevitably spark "Mississippi chariot"-the old slave code for racial violence-the Jackson family quickly and quietly departs for Chicago. Robinet gives readers a good, long look at how the deck was stacked against African Americans, but she only sketches most of her characters, and the glimmer of light she places at the end of the tunnel is faint indeed.
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-10. Life in the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s is vividly evoked in this story of 12-year-old Shortning Bread Jackson, whose father has been wrongfully accused and sent to the chain gang. Using every trick and disguise and false rumor he can, the boy plots to get his father released, and in the last few chapters, the family escapes the lynch mob and leaves for Chicago. There's some awkward contrivance in the plot--Shortning conveniently saves a white boy from drowning, and the grateful parents help the Jacksons escape--but the drama is compelling, the trickery both tense and funny. The sense of the sharecroppers' struggle is an integral part of the story. The book title refers to the old hymn "Chariot Coming for to Carry Me Home," a code from slavery days to warn of danger. Daily life is desperate, and white power and bigotry seem overwhelming, but one smart boy's determination sets his family free. Hazel Rochman


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum; 1st ed edition (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689319606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689319600
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,532,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Wow--this is a gripping tale about poverty, racial prejudice and social injustice rampant in the rural South during the Depression. In 20 short chapters author Robinet depicts the inherited evils of the era, wherein sharecropping was merely a legitimized form of Slavery. Ethical question: are we justified to use any means to ensure our physical and economic survival? Why play fair and abide by humanitarian rules, when the enemy is brutally corrupt and ruthlessly embittered? How far must familial honor dictate the suffering of its members?
For Shortening Bread Jackson's 12th birthday, he wants to give his large family the gift they most desire: his daddy's freedom from the harsh chain gang, for a crime he did not commit. But there was no justice to be had for sharecropping Blacks who bucked the system in a mangy widespot in the road called Sleepy Corners. This psychological flyspeck on a shabby map was home to a few rich folks who wielded the power to keep a disenfranchised race enslaved into the 20th century. Running scared and desperate to make an example of those who protested inhumane treatment--those who defied the ancient social system--the sherrif and landowners unite to retain their petty dictatorship.
But young Shortening Bread is clever beyond his years and all his older brothers combined. He has a dream and knows it is up to him to realize it for them all. He uses his wits and knowledge of human nature to start a rumor about an FBI agent coming to release his daddy from the chain gang. Can a mere kid defy social convention and actually deliver a white man intent on justice, who will free Rufus Jackson at high noon on Wednesday? Sherrif Clark doesn't take kindly to being made a fool of in his own domain, or being maniuplated by Blacks.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 10, 2004
Format: Board book
There was this boy named Shortning. His dad got taken away to a gang known as the Mississippi Chain Gang. Ever since then, Shortnings family has been torn apart. So Shortning decides to make a plan. His plan was to make a rumor. Mississippi people were dumb and believed anything that was thrown at them. Shortning meets one of his best friends in a weirs way. Shortning found Hawk in a pond drowning and jumped in and pulled Hawk out. Hawk was a white boy and refused to shake Shortning's hand. Hawk ended up helping Shortning with his plan.
I liked this book, because it taught me a lot about historical races and religions. I love those kinds of books when blacks and whites or any different kinds of religions come together. I like when little kids are heroes like Shortning. I also learned about what they wore and where they worked and how they worked for a living. It also taught me never to give up.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By waichuk ng on February 4, 2015
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again