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The Friendship Paperback – February 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140389644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140389647
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's hot and humid in 1933 Mississippi, when an elderly black man and a white store owner test their friendship against a backdrop of racism and peer pressure. An explosive confrontation takes place when the black man, Tom Bee, greets the clerk, John Wallace, by his first name--an intimacy unheard of at the time. A group of witnesses heckles Wallace for what they perceive as his permissiveness, and in spite of his private promise to Bee to allow him to greet him this way, Wallace betrays Bee, shooting him in the leg. This brief but poignant story won the 1988 Coretta Scott King Award. It provides strong characterization as well as food for discussion on racism and human relations. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-6 A hot, humid afternoon in Mississippi in 1933 is the setting for a tense drama and tragic confrontation between Mr. Tom Bee, an elderly black man, and a white store owner, John Wallace. The interaction between the two men portrays how severely the bonds of friendship can be tested against a backdrop of racism, peer pressure, and individual rights. This novella is narrated by Cassie Logan from Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Dial, 1976). She and her brothers go to the country store for some medicine for a neighbor. At the store, they are hassled by Wallace's sons. They run into Mr. Bee, who addresses John Wallace by his first name. Blacks are forbidden to do so, but Mr. Bee had saved John's life on more than one occasion, and John had given him permission to call him by his first name. Under pressure and taunting by the men in his store, John reneges on his promise in an explosive and devastating outburst. The characterization is very strong in this brief drama, and the events of this fateful afternoon will be unforgettable. The black-and-white illustrations are noteworthy, and depict the story's mood and action well. This book lends itself well to discussions on various topics pertaining to human relations. Jeanette Lambert, Albuquerque Public Library, N.M.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

My 10 year old daughter has enjoyed the entire series.
DrJean
The story grabs you from the beginning and holds you through the climax.
HonestyisHonorable
I read several of the Logan books to my 4th graders in Mississippi.
Michelle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on October 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Mildred D. Taylor is a formidable presence in literature for young people. She is a recipient of the Newbery Medal, and this book, "The Friendship," is a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award. Together with Taylor's other books, "The Friendship" explores some painful aspects of African-American history.
This story takes place in Mississippi in the 1930s, and is told by Cassie, a young Black child. The conflict in the story revolves around Mr. Tom Bee, an elderly Black man who refuses to observe the racist custom that requires African-Americans to address all white-skinned men as "Mister."
"The Friendship" is a powerful story with great educational value. Taylor offers an unflinching look at life in the South before the civil rights movement. But be warned: this is a grim, violent story which, despite its title, carries very little hope of redemption or reconciliation. And a subplot involving one character is left dangling. Although all readers may not find the book wholly satisfying, I still recommend "The Friendship" as an important piece of fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The story takes place in Mississippi in the 1930's. Mr. John Wallace had told the
Black sand the kids to call him "MR. John," not to call him by his first name because that's not right according to Mr. Wallace. The kids are allowed in Mr. Wallace's store. But Cassie and her brothers have been warned twice not go into the store because they will get into trouble. Then Mr. Tom Bee went into the store to buy medicine for Aunt Callie because she was very sick. Then Mr. Tom Bee went fishing. He had some fish in his hands and the kids and Mr. Tom Bee went into the store to buy some sardines and some candy canes. He handed out the candy to the kids. One of them had said no because "My hands were too dirty because " Mr. Tom Bee said, "Don't listen to them."
Tom Bee and the kids went walking to the store again to buy tobacco. Cassie asked Mr. Tom Bee, "Why do you call Mr. Wallace by his first name?" "Because I had saved his life twice when he almost drowned. I gave him a place to sleep and something to eat," Mr. Tom Bee answered. In the store Mr. Tom Bee called him by his first name in front of the men. The other men said, "Are you going let him to talk to you like that?" One of his sons was looking at him mad. Then Mr. Wallace went outside with the gun and shot him in the leg. He said," You owe me, John. I saved your life twice. You will stay the same till judgment day." "Then you have to kill me here on the road," Mr. Tom Bee said. Then he said his name two to three different times. The kids started to cry and they stared at him. And there was no sound of him.
I really liked the book a lot. At the end of the book was kind of sad when Mr. Wallace shot Mr. Tom Bee in the leg. I learned that most White didn't got along with the Black s at all. Also, I learned that many Whites didn't treat the Blacks right at all.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Friendship was one of the greatest books written by Mildred Taylor. I have read a lot of her books, and this is definitely a 5 star winner. It really gives you the feel of how it was to live life back in the 1930's. It has a bit of humor, suspense, and some parts were meant to make you cry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Friendship was a really good book. We read it because it took place in 1933 and it was by the same author who wrote Mississippi Bridge. We read it in my seventh grade class, and the Whites always thought they were always higher than any Black person. Even a young White boy could be at a higher standing than a Black grown-up. The Blacks would always have to address a White man or woman with a "MRS." or "MR", but the Whites would not have to call them with a "Mrs." or "Mr." They could call them by them by their first name. See, way back then Blacks could not call Whites by their first name or else they would be in some big trouble. The Whites believed that it was respectful for Blacks to call Whites with a "Mr." or "Mrs." in front of their last name.
When they were kids Mr. Tom Bee saved John Wallace's life and John promised that Tom could call him Mr. Wallace by his first name forever.
This is what happened. Mr. Tom Bee called him by his first name because he saved John Wallace's life, not just once, but twice. The end was really great and John comes out and shoots Mr. Tom Bee in the knee and Mr. Tom Bee kept on hollering "JOHN, JOHN, JOHN, JOHN...."
I found it quite interesting because my father is Black, and I think he probably would have done the same as Mr. Tom Bee, saving John's life. My father says, "Everyone needs a helping hand". That is why I recommend this book for everyone who can read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Friendship
Keshia Garcia
The Friendship is about Mr. Tom Bee, John Wallace, Stacey, Christopher-John, Little Man, and Cassie. John Wallace is White and Mr. Tom Bee, Stacey, Christopher-John, Little Man, and Cassie are Black. John Wallace owns a store. John Wallace and Mr. Tom Bee started to be friends when they were young. Mr. Tom Bee saved John Wallace's life two times. That's when Mr. Tom Bee started to be friends with John Wallace. Mr. Tom Bee is older than John Wallace. Mr. Tom Bee always goes into John Wallace's store. Mr. Tom Bee goes fishing, and he gets sardines from John Wallace store.
One day Mr. Tom Bee went into the store and Mr. Tom Be asked John Wallace, "Let me have some of those sardines, John." John's friends were asking him "Are you going to let this Black man talk to you like this?" John Wallace shot Mr. Tom Bee in the leg and John Wallace said, "I'm tired of you, Tom, I told you, Tom, you can call me John; but not in front of my friends." Mr. Tom Bee told John Wallace, "You own me, John... John..." John Wallace knows why he owes him. Mr. Tom Bee said, "John, you owe me; you said you will owe me as long as you live. You promised, John."
I recommend this book to any person that will like to read, especially to the kids. This book is a good book; you should read it.
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