Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe

Mississippi Trial, 1955 Book Trailer

Hiram Hillburn, one of the youngest from the stubborn Hillburn family, lived with his grandparents for most of his adolescent years. He would wake up early in the morning to the smell of bacon cooking in the kitchen. He would spend lazy mornings with his grandpa, visiting the fields or fishing on the Yazoo river. Then, while his grandpa would visit with friends, Hiram would buy a 5 cent Coke and visit with a blind, local vendor.

Hiram's grandma passes away in the middle of the night and Hiram's world is turned topsy-turvy. His father and mother come in for the funeral and decide to take Hiram back with them. Though he doesn't want to leave his grandpa, he cannot fight his dad. At least, not out right. The young boy does argue with and pesters his dad for the chance to go back to Mississippi and visit his grandpa. Then, in the summer of 1955, Hiram's grandpa has a stroke and he is sent down to his grandpa get back on his feet.

When young mister Hillburn gets off the train in Greenwood, he meets a black youth from Chicago. Everyone calls this black boy "Bobo," but his real name is Emmett Till. Emmett is not used to the south and thier ways. He is used to being treated as an equal to white men, but in Mississippi he is no better than a common slave. Hiram briefly befriends the black youth and that is where things turn bad.

Some time later Emmett goes missing. He was rumored to have whistled at a white woman and then he was kidnapped. It turns out that he was actually tortured and murdered. His body was fished out of the river. As the news of Emmett's kidnapping and death races across the country, Hiram is faced with a terrible dilemma. He might have information that could help convict one of Emmett's killings. But he must decide whether it is worth turning against his fellow white men and standing up for a black youth. But, in a little town where everyone has secrets, you never know what you might find out.

This book had some good points and some bad points. The story was very good and it discussed some real issues such as: racism, tradition and education. The book is actually based on a true story. It is one of the only historical fiction novels that I have read, and I did enjoy it. However, the writing was basic and flat. It had the potential to be an amazing story, but it fell short on holding my attention. I also didn't like that you didn't know fact from fiction until the very end.


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