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The Land Mass Market Paperback – October 14, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Land is Mildred D. Taylor's wonderful prequel to her Newbery Medal winner, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. In the stories Taylor has to tell, life is not fair, hard work doesn't always pay off, and the good guy doesn't always win. That's because this extraordinary author tells the stories of her African American family in the Deep South during and after the Civil War, a time of ugly, painful racism.

Paul-Edward Logan, the son of a white, plantation-owner father and a slave mother, is our narrator, bound and determined to buy his own land and shape his own future at whatever cost. Caught between black and white worlds and not fitting into either one is devastating for him, but his powerful, engaging tales of the love of family, the strength of friendship, and growing up will inspire anyone to dare to persevere despite terrible odds. Taylor's books are not only essential in understanding what led up to the Civil Rights movement in America--they are also breathtaking page-turners, full of suspense, humor, love, and hope. The Land certainly stands alone, but the other award-winning tales of the Logan family--Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Let the Circle Be Unbroken; and The Road to Memphis--are excellent as well. Heartily recommended. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Taylor's gift for combining history and storytelling are as evident here as in her other stories about the Logan family. This prequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry focuses on Cassies's grandfather, Paul-Edward Logan, and explains how the seeds were planted for feuds between the Logans and other families, as well as certain loyalties. Here, the author deftly explores double standards in the South during the years following the Civil War. She lays the groundwork for these issues to be examined through two key relationships in the childhood of Paul-Edward, a boy of mixed race: the strong bond he shares with Robert, his white half-brother, and a tenuous friendship with Mitchell, whose parents were born into slavery and whose father works for Paul-Edward's father. Through them, the hero becomes painfully aware of the indelible line dividing black and white society. Though it is acceptable that his father, plantation-owner Edward, keeps an African-American mistress and helps rear her children, Paul-Edward and his sister, Cassie, are not allowed the same privileges as their half-brothers. An incident of family betrayal and a broken promise prompts Paul-Edward to run away from home and pursue his dream to farm his own piece of land. After arriving in Mississippi and setting his sights on the acreage he wants to buy, he soon discovers that becoming a landowner of color is more complicated and dangerous than expected. Like any good historian, Taylor extracts truth from past events without sugarcoating issues. Although her depiction of the 19th-century South is anything but pretty, her tone is more uplifting than bitter. Rather than dismissing hypocrisies, she digs beneath the surface of Paul-Edward's friends and foes, showing how their values have been shaped by social norms. Here, villains are as much victims as heroes, but only those as courageous as the protagonist challenge the traditions that promote inequality. Even during the book's most wrenching scenes, the determination, wisdom and resiliency-which become the legacy of the Logan family-will be strongly felt. Taylor fans should hasten to read this latest contribution to the Logan family history, and newcomers will eagerly lap this up and plunge into the author's other titles. Ages 12-up. (Step.) Taylor's gift for combining history and storytelling are as evident here as in her other stories about the Logan family. This prequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry focuses on Cassies's grandfather, Paul-Edward Logan, and explains how the seeds were planted for feuds between the Logans and other families, as well as certain loyalties. Here, the author deftly explores double standards in the South during the years following the Civil War. She lays the groundwork for these issues to be examined through two key relationships in the childhood of Paul-Edward, a boy of mixed race: the strong bond he shares with Robert, his white half-brother, and a tenuous friendship with Mitchell, whose parents were born into slavery and whose father works for Paul-Edward's father. Through them, the hero becomes painfully aware of the indelible line dividing black and white society. Though it is acceptable that his father, plantation-owner Edward, keeps an African-American mistress and helps rear her children, Paul-Edward and his sister, Cassie, are not allowed the same privileges as their half-brothers. An incident of family betrayal and a broken promise prompts Paul-Edward to run away from home and pursue his dream to farm his own piece of land. After arriving in Mississippi and setting his sights on the acreage he wants to buy, he soon discovers that becoming a landowner of color is more complicated and dangerous than expected. Like any good historian, Taylor extracts truth from past events without sugarcoating issues. Although her depiction of the 19th-century South is anything but pretty, her tone is more uplifting than bitter. Rather than dismissing hypocrisies, she digs beneath the surface of Paul-Edward's friends and foes, showing how their values have been shaped by social norms. Here, villains are as much victims as heroes, but only those as courageous as the protagonist challenge the traditions that promote inequality. Even during the book's most wrenching scenes, the determination, wisdom and resiliency-which become the legacy of the Logan family-will be strongly felt. Taylor fans should hasten to read this latest contribution to the Logan family history, and newcomers will eagerly lap this up and plunge into the author's other titles. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0760 (What's this?)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (October 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142501468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142501467
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

After reading "Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry" and the two following books of the trilogy, I fell in love with Mildred D. Taylor's writing.
"doubleloop277"
It has moments when your angry, sad, and when you want to laugh all while giving you a good story with a strong great meaning behind it read this book!!!
AFRANCIS
The novel is very well written and includes emotions by using the appropriate dialect that it allows the reader to become part of the story.
Jill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
... The Land By Mildred D. Taylor
For the past month or so, my class has been reading The Land, by Mildred D. Taylor. I am not exaggerating when I say this is one of the greatest books ever! The Land is about an African American boy named Paul Edward Logan, who lives on his white father�s plantation. Paul lives in the time of racism, slaves, and disrespect of black men and women. Even his very own father treats him differently than Paul�s white brothers � he cannot eat at the table when there are guests. Nor can he talk to white men the way they treat him. Paul begins to realize the truth of it all. However, he does not give up his dream � to own his own land. He does not lose faith, even when his father denies him an opportunity to race a horse for cash. Denial only pushes him to accept the offer, but the owner of the horse refuses to pay him his winnings. Mitchell, his personal bodyguard, decides to take matters into his own hands and makes them running for their lives. The Land takes the readers on a journey of Paul�s determination, hard work, and his daring and desperate decisions.
One reason I absolutely love this book is because of the plot! The way Paul and African Americans are treated helps me understand what it was like for people, like Paul during the 1800s. This book helps me realize how hard it was back then � to treat others respectfully while they mistreat you, to try to be quiet when a white man was speaking! For example, in the book, Paul is not allowed to hit his brother when he has done something wrong because he is white. It makes me think about how unfair it was a century ago. People were treated unjust because of the color of their skin! I now appreciate my life much, much more, knowing how many lifestyles used to be.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By alpha1906 on November 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Mildred Taylor has once again brought to life the Logan Family, one of the most revered families in Young Adult Literature. This prequel explores the life of Paul Edward Logan, the partiarch of the Logan family. All Taylor readers are acquainted with the importance of the land to the Logan family. This novel is a history lesson enumerating the many struggles that Grandpa Logan endured in order to acquire the cherished Logan land. If you enjoyed Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Let the Circle Be Unbroken and The Road to Memphis, you will just love The Land!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A 12-year old reader on November 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is the prequel to the award-winning Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. The story is told in 1st person by Paul-Edward, Cassie's grandpa in later books. It tells his hardships on living with his daddy, who is white, and having a black mom. After having trouble w/his dad he runs away. Then the story is about how he trys to get land as good as his daddy's. It is excellent work even though the book is a little predictable.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Black on January 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'm a middle-aged white male grade school teacher who is a native of the Rocky Mountains. As an enthusiast of children's literature and of American history, I quite don't know where exactly to begin in sharing with you my deep appreciation for "The Land"; Taylor's continuing effort to document her family's rich history and legacy through stories passed down from ancestors of remarkable integrity and strength.

Here, for children (and for "learned" adults like me), Taylor provides an in-depth look at the culture and relationships of the children of the two families of a white landowner: that of his lawful, white wife as well as his former African/Native American mistress.

Here, for the reader, is an expose' of the culture of American mulato children and how the enduring, insidious vestiges of the mores of a society with slavery guide behavior and opportunity.

Here, for the reader, is the South's affinity for horses, furniture making, and its desecretion of forest for turpentine.

Here are the people of the South during Reconstruction living with the confinement of the rigid heritage of racial prejudice and ignorance--even the enlightened white landowner knowing it is yet too soon to go against the grain. Instead, he prepares as best he can his white and black children for their separate worlds.

Here, Cassie Logan's grandparents, against all odds, use their humanity, courage, and determination to eek out their American birthright.

I read it all in 3 nights--it is simply too fascinating--too engrossing--to put down.

For years, I've been using "Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry" in literature circles.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "doubleloop277" on July 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After reading "Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry" and the two following books of the trilogy, I fell in love with Mildred D. Taylor's writing. I searched the library for more books by her, and when I was successful, sat down and read the books immediately, becoming more enchanted with each one. When I heard that there was a prequel to the books, I couldn't wait to get a hold of it. On the way home from the library, I started reading and didn't stop until the last page.
Paul-Edward Logan has a white father and a half black, half indian mother. Growing up on his father's plantation, he never quite knows his place. Although his mother is always warning him against it, Paul-Edward's best friend is his father's other son, born from a white mother. As Paul-Edward grows he learns of betrayal and watches his best friend abandon him for a group of rough white boys. When Paul-Edward is fourteen, he runs away with his new best friend, Mitchell. A book about racism, friendship and family, Mildred D. Taylor has created another masterpiece to be enjoyed for many years.
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