Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case

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Overview

The kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till is famous as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old Black teenager from Chicago, was visiting family in a small town in Mississippi during the summer of 1955. Likely showing off to friends, Emmett allegedly whistled at a white woman. Three days later his brutally beaten body was found floating in the Tallahatchie River. The extreme violence of the crime put a national spotlight on the Jim Crow ways of the South, and many Americans-Black ...

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Overview

The kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till is famous as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old Black teenager from Chicago, was visiting family in a small town in Mississippi during the summer of 1955. Likely showing off to friends, Emmett allegedly whistled at a white woman. Three days later his brutally beaten body was found floating in the Tallahatchie River. The extreme violence of the crime put a national spotlight on the Jim Crow ways of the South, and many Americans-Black and white-were further outraged at the speedy trial of the white murderers.  Although the two white men were tried and acquitted by an all-white jury, they later bragged publicly about the crime. It was a galvanizing moment for Black leaders and ordinary citizens, including such activists as Rosa Parks.  In clear, vivid detail Chris Crowe investigates the before-and-aftermath of the crime, as well as the dramatic court trial, and places it into the context of the nascent Civil Rights Movement.

With lively narrative and abundantly illustrated with forty fascinating contemporaneous photographs, this impressive work of nonfiction brings fresh insight to the case in a manner that will be accessible and eye-opening for teenagers and adults alike.

Presents a true account of the murder of fourteen-year-old, Emmett Till, in Mississippi, in 1955.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Crowe (Mississippi Trial, 1955) revisits the subject of his debut novel, this time as nonfiction, with an even more searing impact. He builds a strong argument that "the outrage that followed [Emmett's] death and the acquittal of his murderers finally launched the movement to combat racism in the United States." The opening scene, reconstructed from court statements and documents, tells how 14-year-old Emmett Till was taken from his great-uncle's Mississippi home, where the boy was visiting from Chicago, to be killed by two white men. Emmett's crime: he had allegedly whistled at and made `ugly remarks' to a white woman" in a 1955 segregated South where whites were still bristling from the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. The narrative then slows a bit to paint the historical scene, but quickly gains momentum again as Crowe compellingly describes Emmett's perspective, coming from an experience of comparative freedom in the north, as he entered the world of his southern relatives, thus setting a backdrop for tensions to unfold. Striking photographs illustrate an era of contradictions, such as an all-American boy brandishing a sign bearing a racist slogan. The acts of bravery may impress readers most, especially the decision by Maud Till Bailey, Emmett's mother, to open his casket and "Let the people see what they did to my boy," and his Uncle Mose Wright taking the stand to identify the white defendants (immediately thereafter, he had to flee Mississippi or risk being murdered himself). Crowe pays powerful tribute to a boy whose untimely death spurred a national chain of events. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Crowe's new book tells you all the same basic facts of Emmett Till's murder, but it also focuses on why it happened and what was done because of the crime. It dabbles in the minds of the murderers, Emmett's mother, and citizens of Mississippi. The author keeps stressing that the murder of Emmett Till was the breaking point that started the Civil Rights movement. Although not as gripping as Crowe's novel, this book is a necessity for anyone doing a report on the subject. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Phyllis Fogelman Books/Penguin, 128p,
— Kristen Moreland, Teen Reviewer
From The Critics
This book is a nonfiction companion to Chris Crowe's Mississippi Trial: 1955, the story of the murder of Emmett Till, the trial that followed, and surrounding events. Emmett was a 14-year-old African-American youngster visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955, who was kidnapped and murdered after alleged remarks made to a white woman. Although two white men, who later admitted to the murder in a magazine interview, were put on trial for murder, they were quickly acquitted by an all-white jury. This was a landmark event that helped to jumpstart the Civil Rights movement. Due to the graphic nature of this story (including one photo which appeared in a Chicago newspaper), it might be disturbing to younger readers. Nonetheless, it would be a good source to use when talking about the Civil Rights movement, and a good paired read with Crowe's aforementioned fictionalized account. 2003, Phyllis Fogelman Books, 128 pp., Ages young adult.
—Christie Van Sande
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A wrenching account of the brutal killing of a 14-year-old black Chicagoan in Mississippi in 1955, his murderers' acquittal, and their subsequent confession. The writing brings the tenor of the times and the importance of this case into sharp focus. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803728042
  • Publisher: Dial
  • Publication date: 5/12/2003
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 97,757
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.88 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2006

    the trial that angered a nation

    A very good well-researched book about one of the biggest causes of the civil rights movement. Describes the trial and murder of 14 year old Emitt Till, put down by racism. Living up in the north he doesn't understand how to act when he visits the south and that leads to his murder. Filled with an interesting racist trial, with enough evidence to convict anyone nowadays, yet still the murderes get away.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    The Boy Who Died For Civil Rights!

    This is one of the best books ever written. It portrayed the type of of racism that black people were put through, and everyone should learn about this. The best part of this novel was when the book told you about how the black people stood up for Emmett Till. I would recommend the novel to everyone because everyone should read this novel to learn about our history and some of the things that still may rome among us.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2006

    Civil Rights supporters clash with the Jim Crow Laws

    Chris Crowe wrights about Emmett Till who triggered the Civil rights movement. Emmett who was born and raised in chicago goes to Money, Mississippi to visit his grandfather. I liked this book because it really goes into detail about the movement for Civil Rights. I would recommend this book to people who really interested in the Civil Rights movement.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Getting away with murderr

    This is the worst book I have ever read. It is a waste ofv money and reading time. Do not get this book!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    My Thoughts

    I finished reading Getting Away With Murder by Chris Crowe. This book really showed me a lot of how the civil rights movement started and how bad things were back in the day. African Americans were always separated from the whites, on the bus, schools, waiting rooms and restaurants; on buses they had to sit in the back. My point being, the Afro-Americans did not have equal rights they had less of everything or even nothing. Throughout the whole book I was shocked and I felt worried about everything because I didn't know how everything was going to go and I saw racism often. The author's craft was great he showed pictures of events that were important in the book and said why they were, he didn't just throw a random picture in the book. An example is where he put the picture of Emmet Till's face, he put in a caption that the face was deformed and bruised, he mentioned it a couple of times in the text too. He put everything in plain English, by this I mean you will understand everything he wrote. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is learning about African Americans back in the day and people who like non fiction murder cases.
    The problem in this non-fiction story was that two white men killed an African American fifteen year old boy, Emmet Till. The men were going to trial for this because all they had was the boy's body as evidence. There was many trials, in one of them the boy's uncle told the jury the two people who kidnapped him and are believed to kill the boy (everyone knows they did.) In the end of everything because of racism and other things they were found not guilty. I repeat NOT GUILTY, which is why the book is called "Getting Away With Murder." So I highly recommend this book to whoever is interested in knowing more about equal rights and stuff like that.
    I would rate this book a nine out of ten. I rated it this because, this was educational and entertaining. I really liked this book because not one time was I like, "Oh this is boring," I would always be surprised instead and excited to hear what happened next. Plus this book can be for various things wether it's learning about civil rights or African American rights, or for someone who likes murder books, someone who likes non-fiction and so on. This book will make you look at the world in a different way because there is a lot that has changed. So read for your needs or more information on this unfair case.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    The Little Boy Who Shook The World

    This is probably one of the best books I have ever read. It lets the world know just how bad the racism was in the 1950's and 60's. It keeps you hooked throughout the whole book. I would recomrnd this book to teenagers and old people alike. It is a great book and is amust read for everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    Getting Away With a GREAT Book

    Chris Crow writes the sad,short life of a 14 year old,African American boy who was brutally murdered by two racist white men. I liked this novel because it gets you hooked and makes you want to keep reading it.The author did a great job of giving true information in a creative interesting way and the pictures really add to the story. I would recomend this book to anyone looking for a sad,true story with many suprises along the way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2014

    Dont get this book

    Unfair bastaRds, racism is more rampid now than it wuz then & his book points it out. Im not racist but u look blak up in the dictionary it wil say dirty, wrong, blak magic, not all ppl r like that most of mi family umes frum down south & u cudnt pay me to judge sumone jus bexcuz the color of ther skin. It jus pises me of tht a 14 year old hed to go don in history as a brutaly beaten boy tthe kilers wer tried & acquited and then bragges about to the public wih techew u how many honest pepl r realy on this world jus disapointed thats al the justsice system is poor, guilty pepl walkin on the street, innocent pepl locked up, getting the rite ppl in the rite place can make a dirference, btw im a blak girl

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2006

    Emmett Till Will Review

    This novel will keep any reader interestsed in it.The suspense only builds and builds up and up from the moment this book begins,leaving you breathless.It will also give you some insight on Black History.I would have to say the worst part of this novel is in between the first and second chapter where the author continuosly repeats the same words over and over again.I would absolutely recommend this book to someone else.Because it informs the reader about the injustices done to those in the past and how a single race struggles to overcome these injustices.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    GETTING OFF WITH MURDER

    GETTING OFF WITH MURDER Getting Away with Murder is a very eventful book. It is filled with descriptive details explaining how a young black youth is brutally murdered and found by a fisherman, floating in the Tallahatchie River. His murderers, two racist white men named J.W Milam and his half brother Roy Bryant are put on trial immediately for the kidnapping and ¿ murder¿ of young Emmett Till. The worst part of this book, which also was the main event, was when Emmett Till was murdered and the two men that did it were put on trial and eventually, set free. My opinion of the book is that it was a very exciting book. It was very sad, but still very good. The book described the troubles of racism and the consequences of what happens when hatred takes over and controls your actions. I would recommend this book to people who like to learn about troubles in other areas in the world. Also for people who would like to learn about how African Americans were treated differently and unfairly. I would give this book 4 stars for its extensive detail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2006

    The horrible story of Mami Till

    I like this book because it's so intresting, once you start to read this book you wont be able to put it down, your mind just gets wrapped around the vivid details. It's hard for me to get into a book but right from the begin the story caught my attention. The worst part of the story is that the whole thing really happened, you won't believe what some people would do to send a 'message'. I would definitley recommend this book to another reader, because now you know what some people had to go through back then.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    Miscarriage of Justice

    'Getting Away With Murder' is an interesting read, and provides insight into the 1950's in the United States. It is non-fictional, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in history. I felt that the high point of this novel was the description of the murder trial of Milam and Bryant.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2006

    Crowe gets away with murdering the competition!

    Chris Crowe pours his heart out in this awesome, action-packed novel about the Emmett Till Case with full detail and description. I enjoyed this book because Crowe made the book catchy and not boring. I would recommend this book to young adults because it is very enjoyable and interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2006

    Justice gone bad

    'Getting Away with Murder,' was a non-fictional book that gave insight on racial issues in the 1950's. You learn about the actual crime and what went down in the court. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys reading books that give you knowledge on important events.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    An Eye Opener

    The story of Emmett Till is a surprising one. As much as I already know about racism and civil rights, I was oblivious to the extremes in wich racism can go. It's a real eye opener. The best part of the book to me was the trial because you get to see the true nature of people in the south at the time. I really enjoyed the book and never really found any bad parts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2006

    The Brutal killing of Emmett Till

    This was a great novel. It really gets in deep to things that were happening during that time. The concept is really great. It gives us a realization on what could happen in the South for the black race if you didnt obey the orders of the white race(which is a very horrible thing). This book ('Getting Away With Murder') really has some high points. The climax of this book is really great. When Bryant and Milam were convicted not guilty I was really suprised. I did not realize that people like this could just get off the hook like that. It really astounded me. This book is not based on historical fiction. The author really based it on the true facts on what was really going on during that time. He did not add any fake characters or any fake settings that would make the plot more interesting. This book is based on all true facts. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone. This book shows us the uniqueness of the South during the 1950's, and the braveness of the people standing for their rights. The yound man (Emmett Till) shows us that he is not afraid of any one. Even when they are trying to kill him. He is able to speak his mind when he wants to.Though it is not such a good thing. Once again, i really recommend this book to anyone. It is a fantastic read and really interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2006

    Young african american is murdered and found in the Tallahatchie river.

    I really liked this book. It was an easy read, yet the book had great information. It went really in-depth and gave the reader tons of background information. Besides the story, it gave the reader a small biography on Emmett Till and his mother's life. The best part of this story, to me, was when Mose Wright, Emmett's uncle stands up and points out the two men who murdered Emmett. The men were J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant. I thought this was the best part because when the men were taking Emmett, they asked if Mr. Wright 'recognized them.' At this point Mr. Wright says 'no', then J.W. Milam says if later he decides he knows them, he wont live another year. I would recommend this story it was a really good story and it was well-written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2006

    A Kids View on Emmett Till

    'Getting Away With Murder' is a documentary about a young African-American boy who changed a nation. Emmett Till, a boy still in his teens, gave a little 'wolf whistle' in the small town of Money, Mississippi, which started one of the biggest changes in American history. The book tells about how Emmett was kidnapped, and soon after, was brutally murdered for molesting, or flirting, with a white women. His murderers, Bryant and Milan, were the obvious convicts, but would the jury put them in jail or let them go? A great overall book that can teach anyone a little bit about America's history with segregation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2006

    A moment in history.The Emmit Till case.

    Chris Crowe captures the essence of the 1950's and greatly details the Emmit Till case. This is a great novel because you can derive wisdom from every symbol, thought, or idea in the book.The Emmit Till case marked the beginning of a civil rights movement. Emmit Tills lifely sacrifice was not in vain .I would sugeest this book toi anyone, especially African Americans over teh age of 13 due to the graphic nature and explicit descriptions. Emmit Till, the main character in this novel, should be thanked and remembered.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    Mississippi's Whistling Boy

    Although this book is very depressing and unsubstantial, it tells the reader about the characteristics of the time period such as racism, being poor, and unequality.This book makes you ponder,and ask questions like why would they do this?, and wasn't there any other punishment? If you read this book then you will want to share it with other people. All the differences from then and now lets you see how blessed we are. Now instead of having quixotic judges, all trials are fair and egual. And we are not judged by how light or dark we are, but we are judged on our attitude and how we use it towards life. Because now....we are now one nation thanks to Emmett Till taking on a ''challenge''.

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