posts on 8/30/2012 11:44:07 AM
It was a good book, but the number of deaths was 2, not 1. (Florence Hillburn and Emmett Till)
posts on 5/15/2011 4:09:44 PM
Hi, Chris, I teach 8th grade students Communication Arts. This is my third year teaching your novel, Mississippi Trial, 1955. I agree that it is a "story that needs to be told..." Every time I read the novel, I realize something new. I really love to watch as my students finally get that Hiram by the events of the plot realizes that he is really more like his dad than Grampa, in fact, he really isn't anything like his Grampa. When I discuss the theme, however, my kids come up with so many possibilities. Did you have one theme in mind? Also, don't you agree that the climax is when Hiram finds out from Ronnie that his grandfather was the third person involved? Some of my students think it is the lines, "And then I knew. Knew what I didn't want to know." Others are not sure what Hiram actually knew that he didn't already know other than whether Grammpa was being truthful about the boy being alive when they brought him home. Thanks for any help you can give. I love teaching your novel!!!
posts on 3/1/2011 5:58:10 PM
My literature teacher says this is a book about a boy's (Hiram's) relationship with his father and his grandfather.
posts on 11/29/2010 7:21:33 PM
Hello, I enjoyed your novel, Mississippi Trial 1955! I was wondering what the conflict was, though. I was confused. Is it the fact Emmett was murderedd? The murderers were found innocent? Hiram is having dissagreements with his father and grandfather? He never discovered who the third man involved was? Thank you again!
posts on 3/15/2010 12:42:04 PM
I am teaching Mississippi Trial, 1955 for the second to my 8th grade ELA students. One question I have not been able to answer is why were there no women on the jury? Grampa says women didn't sit on juries in Mississippi, was this a law or a tradition? Thanks for the answer. My students love the book and have learned so much about the issues of this era.
posts on 5/20/2009 11:10:28 PM
Our class is just finishing up Mississippi, and we have a couple of questions for you. If you have a minute to answer them, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much for your time and writing such a wonderful, thought-provoking story.
How did you find out all of the background information on Emmett Till? Did you get to personally interview anyone?
Why did you choose to write the story from the perspective or Hiram instead of Emmett Till?
Why did you pick the grandpa's character to be the third man involved in the Emmett Till murder?
Was the White Citizens Council actually the KKK?
How did you come up with the characters' names?
Why was Emmett's nickname Bobo?
Why did you decide to add the third man to the story?
posts on 5/20/2009 1:11:29 AM
Cristine, Mr Paul is white, and your question is a good one because it shows how an author can goof when he's not clear. From the start, in my mind, at least, Mr Paul was white, and because I always saw him that way, I never bothered to make that distinction clear in the novel. The fact that he served in the Army in WWII is a clue, and perhaps also the fact that he sold food in a public building. Still, if I had a chance to revise, I'm make it clear to the reader that he's white.
Thanks for your question.
posts on 5/19/2009 2:08:34 PM
The students in our LA class have been reading Mississippi Trial, 1955. We were wondering about the character, Mr. Paul. In the beginning of the book, we thought he was black but in chapter 11, he says something that made me question whether he was white. Thank you for your insight.
We love the book and love the inner conflicts.
posts on 4/21/2009 4:33:11 PM
Matt, I have no personal connection to the background of that novel. The Mississippi background came from research, including field research in Greenwood and surrounding areas. Hiram's connection to Arizona, however, is personal. I grew up there, and it's always seemed like home, so it made sense to make it my main character's home as well.
posts on 4/21/2009 12:46:56 PM
what is your relation with the backround of the novel?
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