Using historical photographs, first-person accounts, and other researched material, this nonfiction tells the story of the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till and of the trial of his killers. It places the event in its proper historical context. Named one of the top 100 books of the decade by the American Library Association.
Grade 7 Up-“The Emmett Till case was not the sole cause of the civil rights movement, but it was the final indignity that caused the flood of outrage to overflow the dam of racial injustice.” Mainstream history has all but forgotten about this 14-year-old African American from Chicago who was murdered by two white men in Mississippi for making “ugly remarks” to one of their wives. The men were acquitted, and several months later, they were interviewed by Look magazine and publicly confessed to the crime. The event galvanized black Americans, and even many of the whites who had supported the defendants were appalled at their national confession. Four months after Till was killed, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, and the wheels of the civil rights movement were set in motion. Crowe’s research is extensive and his writing is well suited to his audience. The black-and-white photographs add tension and realism to the story. The picture of the boy in his casket originally published in The Chicago Defender is a graphic, powerful testament to the brutality of the crime. This book is a mandatory addition to all libraries because of the impact and importance this crime had on our history.
Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI
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American Library Association, The Top 100 Books from 1994-2003
2004 Jane Addams Book Award Honor Book
American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, 2004 (unanimous selection)
2004 Orbis Pictus Recommended Books, National Council of Teachers of English
School Library Journal Best Book of 2003
2003 Junior Library Guild Selection
2003 English Journal Honor List
2005 Teen Buckeye Book Award Nominee (Ohio)
2005 Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee
2004 New York Public Library’s Book for the Teen Age
2004 Capitol Choices List (District of Columbia)
Pennsylvania School Library Association 2004 YA Nonfiction Top 40
2004-05 Tayshas Reading List, Texas Library Association
2006 Garden State Teen Book Award finalist (New Jersey)
2006 New York Public Library’s Book for the Teen Age