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The Friendship Paperback – February 1, 1998
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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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 School & Library Binding 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 School & Library Binding edition.
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This is such a wonderful true story. Ms Taylor takes the stories she has grown up listening to from her grandparents and uncles-aunts and takes the story of her great grandpa AND her great grandma and combine them for this story! Knowing that made it even more wonderful. This is book 5.5 (or book 7) of this series of books. There are 8 books in this 'Logan' series which many people don't realize since book #4 apparently was Ms Taylor's first book she wrote for this series. Since it won awards and she had so much more history to write she took off with it and make it into a series. Some of the books are 'novels' and others (like this one) are smaller 90 page 'children's' books (looks like labeled for ages 7-11 according to Amazon) but as an adult I loved this book and am looking forward to continuing reading this series.
Now with that being said... I am white and I nor any of my family have ever had to deal with what 'freed' slaves or a child from a mixed family has had to deal with. In reading this within the first few chapters my heart went out because the same emotions that was written within this book during segregation-depression era is the same emotions that some people have to endure even today, (although not as 'gruff')
In this book the Logan children go to the local store that their parents have warned them NOT TO GO TO! But one of the elders of the community needed some medication and has asked the kids to go get it for her. So out of respect for her they go. While there they have to wait, and wait due to their skin color being black and the owners of the store being white; to be waited on. After they are done an elderly colored gentleman comes in and the store owners son call him names and really start up something with him. Especially since he called their Dad by his first name! Something that colored people NEVER did. The history the store owner and the black gentleman has is one of heart wrenching love but with time and society that friendship breaks... GREAT book to introduce your older child to segregation and civil rights. But be prepared for questions as they may have many.
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Tought you to be kind to everyone no matter how they may look