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Mississippi Trial, 1955 [Hardcover]

By Chris Crowe (Author) & Tim Okamura (Illustrator)
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Item description for Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe & Tim Okamura...

In Mississippi in 1955, a sixteen-year-old finds himself at odds with his grandfather over issues surrounding the kidnapping and murder of a fourteen-year-old African American from Chicago.

Publishers Description
As the fiftieth anniversary approaches, there's a renewed interest in this infamous 1955 murder case, which made a lasting mark on American culture, as well as the future Civil Rights Movement. Chris Crowe's IRA Award-winning novel and his gripping, photo-illustrated nonfiction work are currently the only books on the teenager's murder written for young adults.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Dial
Pages   231
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.66" Width: 5.64" Height: 0.93"
Weight:   0.76 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 27, 2002
Publisher   Dial
Age  12-17
ISBN  0803727453  
ISBN13  9780803727458  
UPC  050553017994  

Availability  0 units.

More About Chris Crowe & Tim Okamura

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Chris Crowe was born in Danville, Illinois, and attended schools in Illinois, New Mexico, and California before his parents settled down in Tempe, Arizona, where he graduated from McKemy Junior High and McClintock High School. He attended Brigham Young University on a football scholarship (and played in the 1974 Fiesta Bowl) and earned a BA in English. He taught English at McClintock High for 10 years while attending Arizona State University part-time, earning his masters and doctorate degrees.
He is the author of several books, most notably MISSISSIPPI TRIAL, 1955, which won several awards, including the 2003 International Reading Association's Young Adult Novel Award. His nonfiction book, GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER: THE TRUE STORY OF THE EMMETT TILL CASE, was an Jane Addams Honor book. His first children's book, JUST AS GOOD: HOW LARRY DOBY CHANGED AMERICA'S GAME, appeared in 2012. His newest book is a historical novel DEATH COMING UP THE HILL, scheduled to be released in October 2014.
Chris married his high school sweetheart, and they live in Provo, Utah, where he works in the English department at BYU. They are the parents of four children and grandparents of two lovely girls and three handsome boys.

Chris Crowe currently resides in Provo, in the state of Utah.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Biographies > General
3Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Biographies > People of Color
4Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Biographies > Political
5Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Multicultural Stories > African-American
6Books > Subjects > Teens > History & Historical Fiction > Women

Reviews - What do customers think about Mississippi Trial, 1955?

Mississippi Trial, 1955  Mar 30, 2007
At first, Hiram is excited about visiting his favorite grandfather in Greenwood, Mississippi. But before long, Hiram begins to feel that the small town of Greenwood is not the same place where he spent the golden years of his childhood. Then he crosses paths with Emmett Till, a black teenager from Chicago who is also visiting over the summer, and Hiram sees firsthand how local white folk treat blacks who "don't know their place." When Emmett's body is found floating in a river, Hiram is determined to make sure justice is served. But what will it cost him?

Mississippi Trial, 1955 begins during Hiram's childhood with his grandpa in Greenwood, Mississippi. His parents could not raise him at the time because Hiram's dad was in the process of getting a master's degree in English at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Hiram's heart was broken when he had to move to Tempe, Arizona for his father's job. Flash forward a few years. When Hiram was sixteen, his father reluctantly decided he was old enough to go back to Greenwood for the summer. Hiram arrived there happy, but as time went on, he could not shake the feeling that something was different. Then he met Emmett Till, a nice young black boy from Chicago. Hiram and Emmett see each other a few times at the Tallahatchie River, where Hiram played and shared food with Emmett (it was a little unusual down there for whites to hang out with blacks, but Hiram didn't mind). A few days later, a body of a young black man was found in that same river. Hiram thinks he knows something about the hate crime. A day before, Hiram's racist friend, RC Rydell, said something about planning to murder a black boy. Meanwhile, there is a huge media blow-up throughout the country about this cruel crime, so Hiram tells the country sheriff about what he heard. Hiram was subpoenaed to the impending trial to present his evidence, despite his grandfather's misgivings about it. At the trial, the defendants, Mr. Bryant and Mr. Milam, explained how Emmett had made rude gestures to Mrs. Bryant the day before the homicide, but neither of them had killed Emmett. The plaintiff, Emmett's uncle Mose, said that Emmett had been kidnapped by the two men and driven off, never to be seen again. However, there was another man in the car, a blue Ford pickup truck by the looks of it. Just as he was about to testify about RC, Hiram discovered that RC had not even been in town the night of the murder, so it could not have been him. The all-white jury found Bryant and Milam innocent of all charges, even though they, in fact, did kill the young man. The morning after the trial, a few men came to pick up grandpa's blue Ford pickup after they bought it from him a couple days beforehand. Grandpa claimed the transmission went bad, but Hiram was not so sure. Finally, Ralph Remington, a neighbor who would talk in circles to anyone, told Hiram the real story of what had happened. Grandpa had been the third man in the pickup and had sold the truck to remove the evidence and perhaps, a little of his guilt. Hiram felt sick to his stomach, as if his whole world was crashing down. A couple days later, Hiram went back home to Tempe, where he and his father finally saw eye-to-eye... Dad had been right, the south was not a good place to be.

Mississippi Trial, 1955 is an excellent book to spite the sad reality of events. There is happiness as well to balance it out in this historically accurate story.

There were many examples of sadness in Mississippi Trial. One was when Hiram was a child, his grandma died. Hiram was very much upset, because he had lived with his grandparents for so long. Another example of sadness was when Hiram's new friend, Emmett Till, was found brutally murdered in the Tallahatchie River. The last bit of sadness was when Hiram discovered that his grandfather, whom he had known and trusted all his life, was part of the group who killed Emmett. That was like the final blow - Hiram felt broken after that.

The examples of happiness in Mississippi Trial were sparse, but nonetheless, they were there. One happy moment was when Hiram's father granted him permission to go back to Greenwood, the small town Hiram loved. Another was when he saw Naomi, the girl whom he rather liked, again. Hiram was happy because now he had someone who would criticize him when he talked about everything that was going on. The last example of happiness in the book was when Hiram and his dad made up when he came home - they did not always see eye-to-eye and they always argued.

Mississippi Trial was historically accurate in many ways, although the story about Hiram and his family was all fiction. One historically correct aspect of the book was, of course, the cold-blooded murder of Emmett Till, which aroused the entire nation. Another historically correct part was when Hiram's grandfather explained to Hiram that the Jim Crow Laws were the only thing keeping the southern schools segregated. The last major historically correct element of the story were how the jury was all white men, how the black people had to sit in the back of the courthouse, and how grandpa, a cotton farm owner, said the only reason black people were put on the Earth was so they could work the fields.

Mississippi Trial, 1955 was a very good book - I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good historically correct story, but does not mind a little bit of sadness mixed I as well, although there was happiness to balance things.

-Elizabeth H =]
Mississippi Trial, 1955  Mar 18, 2007
Welcome to the Delta. Back in 1955, slavery was still the way of life in Mississippi. No one cared about crimes committed to colored people. When a young colored boy is murdered for whistling at a white woman, no one but a young white boy, Hiram Hillburn, cared. I recommend this book to people who like reading about history.
This book really makes you appreciate the basic rights that we take for granted every day no matter what color or sex you are. Nowadays if you murder someone, you will suffer the consequences. The two men that murdered the colored boy, Emmit Till, got away with the murder with no punishment just because they were white.
Chris Crowe did an extremely good job of writing this book. The way he describes everything puts a descriptive picture in your mind. When a bully named R.C. Rydell was messing with Emmit Till, you can actually picture R.C. shoving fish guts all over Till's face. You can also see the tears dripping down the cheeks of Till's loved ones.
Suspense is a key factor in a book, but this book barely had any suspense. Once you figure out about the trial, you can already assume how the book is going to end by the reaction of the people in the Delta. Nobody cared about the murder, and some were happy about it because "it showed colored people their place".
This was a mediocre book. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good enough. Sometimes it just got really boring and you get tempted to put the book down and never pick it up again. Like when Hiram was dreaming about Naomi Rydell, R.C.'s sister. I only recommend this book to people who like reading about history.
D. Clayton
Unoriginal  Feb 26, 2007
This novel, Mississippi Trial, 1955 is a fictionalized account of the actual events that happened around the murder of Emmett Till. However, many of the plot elements are unoriginal and very similar to To Kill a Mockingbird.
Mississippi Trial, 1955  Feb 17, 2007
This book is about a boy named Hiram who goes to stay with is Grandpa in Greenwood, Mississippi. While there he meets an African American boy named Emitte Till. They became good friends. When Emitte is found dead floating in the river. Hiram sets out to find out who it was that killed him.
I thought this book was very good. It is a Non-Fiction book based on a true story. It is a great mystery.
Li-Hsin's book review  Dec 4, 2006
The title of this book is Mississippi Trial, 1955. The author is Chris Crowe who is a professor of English at Brigham Young University. He has written other books about racial causes and this book was written in 2002. The story takes place in Greenwood, Mississippi. This book is about when there was much racial injustice in the south of the United States. It sees this injustice from the point of view of a teenager.
The main characters are Hiram and his grandfather. Hiram is a sixteen year old boy who lives in Arizona, but in the summers, he visits his grandfather in Mississippi. His grandfather has lived in the Deep South all of his life and actually, Hiram grew up there. One other character, R.C. Rydell, is also important to the story.
The main idea of the story is that a boy Emmett, a black boy, is found shot, dead floating in a river. R.C. told Hiram that he going to talk with Emmett before he was killed. R.C. was a bit of a bully. There are three men who took Emmett away and were going to kill him because they thought that he was rude to a white woman. When Emmett was found dead, two of these men were accused of killing him. It was brought to trial and the judge decided that there was not enough evidence to convict them. However, Hiram still thought that the third fellow was R.C..
My least favorite part was when Hiram went with his grandfather to check the cotton fields. Hiram saw that his grandpa was not nice to the black workers. Hiram was not accustomed to this attitude toward other people.
I give this book four and one half stars out of five because I understand more about racial issues and the issues raised in this book upset me. It was sad to read this book and see that people really do this. I want to add that I liked how the author wrote the book and used such specific details to describe feelings and actions. I would recommend this book for others to read.

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