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on April 3, 2003
... 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.
In addition to this, I love the suspense! There is always something exciting happening � from the horse race to the fights where Mitchell, Paul�s bodyguard protects him. What makes this book so fascinating is the fact that there is always something incredible, simply amazing happening. This makes me want to read more! Not only is it entertaining, but also this book raises many intriguing questions. For example, what is going to happen to Paul, what dramatic decision will he make now, and how is Paul�s father going to react to this chaos? As you can tell, many questions arise. This is one great aspect of The Land.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy books based on history � something that actually happened. The Land is based on true facts � how people were considered, how lifestyles were for African Americans, and how there were many unjust, unfair laws. This book has a wonderful plot, which is not only entertaining, but also educational. You would have to read it yourself!
I can understand why this book won the Coretta Scott King Award!
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on November 29, 2001
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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on November 4, 2001
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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on January 12, 2003
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. Students initially balk (they prefer fantasy) but they soon are ensnared by Taylor's family history and our shared American heritage; some of which we shake our heads at in disbelief. Now, through "The Land", so much more is revealed. I cannot wait to share it with them!

Thank you, Mildred Taylor, for sharing your family's legacy in such a profound way. Your gift will forever impact our lives by promoting understanding and by buiding strong bonds in our diverse society. You have "done your ancestors and we as Americans proud!"
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on July 13, 2002
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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on March 22, 2004
Paul-Edward Logan has a unique life situation in the late 1800s. Born on a southern plantation following the Civil War, his mother is black and Native American, yet his father is a white man. As a child, he is treated with almost the same care given to his white half-brothers, yet as he grows up he begins to learn the harshness and injustice of his world. But Paul is determined to make something of himself. He wants his own land, he wants his own destiny, and he wants things that many others of his race wouldn't even dream of.
I was shocked with just how much I was impressed with this book! Throughout my life I have loved the powerful stories told in Taylor's "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" trilogy, yet often authors kind of fizzle after a couple of amazing books. But not here!
I think one of the best things about Paul-Edward's story is how once again Taylor draws on family stories. Anyone who has read "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" will recall that Paul-Edward is the grandfather of the Logan children, and will find it even more fascinating to read his own story. Which brings me to another point-the fact that Taylor not only draws on family stories, but brings them so vividly and credibly to life makes her writing all the better.
And the writing was indeed good. Paul's first-person narrative sounds intelligent and interesting, while still managing to sound realistic and fresh. He is a character full of pride and determination that makes him truly admirable. But the book never feels preachy, and the pride and strength that Taylor fashions into her stories never feels fake.
"The Land" is a book that is at once a story of hope and a realistic portrait of the ugly racism that plagued our society at the time. Just as in her other books, the author deals with racism in a balanced, up front, and intelligent manner.
I was so impressed with this latest from Mildred Taylor! The character-driven story is the perfect balance of timeless values and a compelling historical backdrop.
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on April 8, 2003
Mildred Taylor has written an outstanding novel. The Land is a prequal to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It traces the life of Paul-Edward Logan. Paul-Edward is the son of prominent Edward Logan and his former slave, Deborah. This mix leaves Paul mostly unaccepted by the white community and the black community. Where does Paul fit in? The book recounts Paul's inner and outer struggles of growing up. It tells of his conflicts with family, friends and strangers. 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. I felt that I was there in the scenes as a bystander.
I think the novel is appropriate for a high school audience. The novel covers some very sensitive issues. Their maturity is needed to accept the struggles and prejuidices without becoming so angry and upset.
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on January 13, 2005
Right after the Civil War, a boy named Paul-Edwards Logan has a dream. This dream, to own land like his father, is nearly impossible to achieve. Since Paul has a white father and a black mother, he is not accepted in either the black or the white society. Through rough times, bitter rivalries, and a lot of hard work, Paul Logan gets closer to achieving his dream.

Milderd D. Taylor is a powerful writer who also wrote Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, the sequel to The Land. I read Roll of Thunder first, and liked it very much, so I picked up The Land. I love this book becasue all of the characters seem so real and appear to come alive as they tell the story. These books by Taylor are one of the best and I would definitely recommend it to anybody especially those who like historical fiction.
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on May 4, 2002
I purchased this book for my 12 year old inter-racial daughter. She enjoyed the book immensely. She was a little taken back by the use of the "N" word but realized that this book talks about history and how things really were. The only reason I rated it 4 stars was because of the language used at times. I had the impression when I bought it that it was a child's book, although a bit difficult for young children. I would only warn parents to explain the language to younger children that would be interested in reading the book.
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on April 17, 2002
Reading The Land was like a visit with old friends. I had already met, or heard about, most of the characters from Mildred Taylor's earlier books, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, The Road to Memphis, Mississippi Bridge, & The Friendship. I savored every page like ice cream on a hot, summer day. I wanted so badly to read it, but I didn't want it to end. As a 6th grade reading teacher, I read tons of young adult books. This one is a must.
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