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The Road To Memphis (1992)

The Road to Memphis (1992)

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4.16 of 5 Votes: 1
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0140360778 (ISBN13: 9780140360776)

About book The Road To Memphis (1992)

Having now read five Logan books by Mildred Taylor, I have two favorites: Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry and Road to Memphis. The first is about childhood; the second is about adolescence. While both contain a mixture of happy and tragic moments, Road to Memphis is about change and so is sadder in tone. Yet in many ways, the two books have parallels.Like Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Road to Memphis is about family. In one of its earliest chapters, Mr. Logan returns home to see the Logan siblings gathered around Stacey’s new car. He walks around the car slowly and then without a smile says that he’s heard that Stacey has been showing it off. When he strolls around the car yet again, the Logan siblings all anxiously wait to hear his verdict. To their relief, he winks and then proudly puts his arm around Stacey’s shoulder. Everyone jumps in the car and goes for a ride. Later, Cassie and her mom share a sweet moment. Cassie is trying on dresses for church when her mom walks into her bedroom. They talk about her appearance and about love. Cassie thinks she isn’t ready, but her mom knows better because why else would Cassie take so much care in picking out the right clothes to wear around Moe? This isn’t to say every moment with the Logan parents is light. One day Cassie is hanging out at her friend Sissy’s home. On her walk back to church, Cassie crosses paths with three white boys. Immediately they start harassing her. If not for her father showing up, because he worried about her being out on the roads alone, serious trouble might have resulted.Like Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Road to Memphis is about family. is about friendship. In an hilarious scene, Cassie and Sissy share their feelings about love. Sissy chides Cassie’s lack of interest in boys, telling Cassie that with her being seventeen it’s time she start thinking about love. Cassie teases, “Maybe, then, I’ll think on Clarence.” Sissy retorts that she’ll whip anyone who messes with her Clarence. Cassie reassures, “Girl, don’t nobody want Clarence but you.” The girls laugh. Then there’s the bittersweet moment between Stacey and Jeremy, when Jeremy asks if he could get a ride in Stacey’s new car. This is 1940’s Mississippi. White folks didn’t normally ride with black folks unless the black folks were in their employment as a chauffeur. However, they agree to a ride across the pasture, behind the barn, where no one would see them. As they ride, the two boys laugh, share memories, and wish for the old days. Unfortunately, the joyous moments soon end. One day while the Logan siblings and their friends are hunting in the woods for “coons”, Cassie and Harris get separated and run into a gang of white teenage boys that includes Jeremy. Three of the boys taunt Cassie and Harris about hunting with them. Except they don’t really intend for them to look for a “coon” together. Instead they order Harris to be the “coon”. Jeremy speaks up, but his three white friends don’t take kindly to his suggestion to “Leave them be.” Jeremy responds in a startling way. A few days later, the same three boys pick on the Logans and their friends once again, this time while in the nearby town of Strawberry. In a moment of righteous anger, Moe takes a crowbar to them. Everyone’s loyalty is put to the test, for anyone who is caught with Moe could face charges of aiding and abetting a criminal.Like Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Road to Memphis is about family. is about bullies and about racism. While Cassie and her brothers wait for the eldest Logan sibling Stacey to show at the bus stop, they run into Harris who needs some shells at the Wallace store. You’d expect a little errand like buying shells to just take a few minutes. It probably would have too, except that back then certain white folks got a kick out of teasing black people and for the most part there wasn’t anything that black people could do: If they talked back, they could get into trouble; If they hit, they could get killed. Harris decides to act as polite as he can, despite being called dumb and being ordered to act like a monkey. Later, during a car ride, Stacey has to stop at a gas station due to mechanical trouble. Cassie needs to use the bathroom and is told to use the bushes, but instead she tries to sneak into a public toilet. Again, you wouldn’t expect any incidents to arise from that little errand. Yet Cassie rebelliously uses the bathroom labeled WHITE LADIES ONLY. The attendant who catches her orders her and her siblings off his place. When she falls in her haste to leave, he squashes her purse under his one foot and kicks her with his other foot.As I indicated at the start, Road to Memphis differs from Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry in being about change. Some changes are almost insignificant such as when Little Man starts to insist on being called Clayton Chester. Others are typical of coming of age stories, such as Moe’s developing interest in Cassie as a girlfriend. Some are indicative of a certain time such as the number of community boys who sign up for the war effort. And others have the potential to become monumental such as Cassie’s belief that if black people knew the law, maybe black people could help change a biased justice system. Finally, there are some which are unique to Taylor’s tales of the Logans. For example, Jeremy makes a choice that will forever change his life.After five books, the Logans have come to feel like a real family to me. By the time I reached the second half of Road to Memphis, I couldn’t put it down. Incidentally, one of the most poignant scenes involving Cassie and her dreams about the future is found in the latter chapters. Once I did finished Road to Memphis, I felt almost as upset as I do when I read a trilogy that ends with a cliffhanger. I didn’t want to say goodbye. And while fortunately there are three more books about them, Road to Memphis is the last narrated by Cassie. It has been an unforgettable journey.

"The Road To Memphis" by Mildred D. Taylor was a very dramatic, compelling book. This is the third novel in the series written about the Logan family and I have to say that with each sequel the story gets better and better. This book takes place in 1941, right before the outbreak of World War II. Cassie is now 17 years old and a senior in high school dreaming of going onto law school. Her older brother Stacey is working and is driving his first car. But then, a sequence of tragic events occurs, including pregnancy and death, threatens to seperate the family, possibly forever. In Jackson, Moe lashes out at his white tormentors, an act unheard of in Mississippi back then, which nearly gets them killed. So Cassie, Stacey and their friends must try to get Moe to Memphis for safety. Mildred D. Taylor is and excellent writer. The realism of the story drips from every page. In reading all of her books based on the Logan family, she depicts the magnitude of racism in the 1940's very well. It really gave me an idea of what life was like in that era. It also made me realize how times have changed and how lucky I am to live in this day and age and not have to experience the hardships and struggles of the past. For those reasons, I believe this would be an appropriate novel to teach in schools starting at fifth grade. This is a great book that I think everyone should read at sometime in their life.

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I chose to read, The Road to Memphis, because it is the fourth installment of books in the Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry series. In this book, Moe Turner, one of Stacey's friends, beats up three white kids who taunted and embarrassed him. Stacey, Cassie, Clarence, and Little Wiggins take Moe to Memphis so he can escape to Chicago, but in the process Clarence dies. My favorite quote was when Jeremy says," You ever play that ole wind pipe I made, you think of me, hear?" This quote is quite sad, because since Jermey is enlisting in the Army, the Logans may never see Jeremy again. It reminds me of what Jeremy has done for the Logans and their special bond of friendship. It is especially depressing that by helping the Logans and Moe, his father would kick him out of the house. The sacrifices he makes and the care he shows towards the Logans seems unbelievable in an era of segregation. I felt that the author, Mildred D. Taylor, accurately recreates a world where segregation is present and war fever is running high. She also does an excellent job of creating strong bonds between the characters, which helps a reader visualize and connect with a character. I would recommend this book to anyone because it gives a personal insight into American social life in the early to mid- 1900s. I felt that Mildred D. Taylor does a fine job blending segregation, family, community, friendship, and emotion into one amazing book.
—Bhavin Shah

I love Mildred Taylor's work. I'm working on reading all of her books, which is easy since they're quick little reads (you can finish most of them in a day), but packed with emotion and powerfully disturbing images of racism.SPOILERS!I always wondered about what happened to Moe and Jeremy after the book ends. I always kinda imagined that Moe and Cassie would eventually end up being together and that Jeremy is killed in the war. I may be horribly mistaken, and I should probably hurry up and read the rest of the books to find out.
—Betsy McGee

I think Cassie, the high school senior in this book, is an amazing young woman. She wants to be a lawyer, but it's 1941 and she is African American, and there is little opportunity for her to get that kind of an education. But she doesn't get bitter--she just keeps doing her best. This book is part of Mildred Taylor's Logan family series. I recommend anything written by Mildred Taylor. Her writing makes you feel as if you are inside the minds of her characters, feeling what they are feeling and seeing what they are seeing.

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