The Road to Memphis

The Road to Memphis

4.7 39
by Mildred D. Taylor

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Set in Mississippi in 1941, The Road to Memphis describes three harrowing, unforgettable days in the life of an African-American high school girl dreaming of law school. Caught up in the center of tense racial dramas unfolding around her, Cassie Logan is forced to confront the adult world as never before. A Coretta Scott King Author Award Book.


Set in Mississippi in 1941, The Road to Memphis describes three harrowing, unforgettable days in the life of an African-American high school girl dreaming of law school. Caught up in the center of tense racial dramas unfolding around her, Cassie Logan is forced to confront the adult world as never before. A Coretta Scott King Author Award Book.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the tradition of Maya Angelou and Alice Walker, Taylor uses powerful, vibrant prose to express the sentiments of a young black Southerner, as the Newbery Medalist continues the story of Cassie Logan. The year is 1941, and 17-year-old Cassie prepares for college by attending high school in Jackson, Miss., where her brother Stacey and friends Little Willie and Moe work in factories. No longer under the protective wing of her parents and Big Ma, Cassie confronts the hostility of the white community and faces new harsh realities including the betrayal of a childhood friend, the outbreak of World War II and an act of violence that forces Moe into hiding. Although Cassie experiences fear and humiliation, her determination to fight for justice remains undaunted. Offering the same captivating characters, honest dialogue and resonant imagery found in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Let the Circle Be Unbroken , this enlightening, moving novel will leave readers yearning for the next installment of the Logan saga. Ages 12-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Susan Wilde
This is the latest book in Taylor's "Logan" series concerning a Black family living in the rural south and despised by poor whites because they own land. Set in 1941, the book is told through the point of view of Cassie who is finishing high school and dreaming of college and law school amidst a background of impending war and continuing racial violence. In a tense drama, Cassie is torn from her dreams and thrust into a harsh reality and her adulthood. The book, along with the others in the series, supports a developing sense of social conscience and speaks to adolescent concerns with unfairness and injustice.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
During her last year of high school in Mississippi, Cassie Logan faces the harsh realities of southern life in 1941. America is calling her sons to defend against foreign adversaries, but there is an enemy within, a deeply rooted bigotry toward blacks, far more threatening than a distant war to Cassie's family and friends. Throughout this suspenseful saga, Cassie clutches her dreams and tentatively puts her trust into dubious hands. Ms. Taylor is a gifted storyteller.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-- Taylor continues the saga of the Logan family ( Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Dial, 1976). The setting is Mississippi in 1941, and although the impending war has created some new job opportunities for blacks, discrimination and blatant racism still abound. The focus is on Cassie, now 17, her brother Stacey, and their friends, who are confronted and often humiliated by the white people they encounter. In one pivotal scene, a young man who defends himself after merciless taunting realizes he must leave Mississippi rather than face an unfair ``justice'' system. During that escape to Memphis, the friends face even more racist situations. Indeed, instances of white oppression and prejudice permeate the book, making it more stark than the earlier titles that emphasized family strength and unity in addition to exposing racism. Side plots involving the pregnancy of one friend, as well as the illness and death of another, add another element to the story but do not flow smoothly into the narrative. Taylor conveys the harsh realities of the time, as well as strong-willed Cassie's realization that as an adult she will have to make her own decisions and fight her own battles. Cassie's dream of becoming a lawyer and the looming war raise related questions regarding the white-controlled legal system and the injustice of fighting a war that sustains the status-quo, questions that have no easy answers. This is a dramatic, painful book, but it's more of a string of events than a narrative with strong characterizations. --Susan Schuller, Milwaukee Public Library
From the Publisher
"Cassie recounts harrowing events during late 1941. An engrossing picture of fine young people endeavoring to find the right way in a world that persistently wrongs them."—Kirkus Reviews

"An enlightening, moving novel."—Publishers Weekly

"Mildred D. Taylor's novels about the Logan family have been hugely popular for two good reasons: They bring alive a fragment of the history of black life in the Deep South... [and] paint an appealingly detailed picture of the warm family relations and the embracing communal spirit to remind us that black life, day to day, however troubled, is not the disaster it looks like when it is simplified by sociology. There is pleasure, dignity, and palpable pride in Great Faith, near Strawberry, Miss., where the Logans are landowners with a fierce attachment to their own soil."—The New York Times

"Powerful, readable, and fast-moving."—VOYA

"This is a dramatic, painful book."—School Library Journal

"A powerful...picture of the racist menace in pre-civil rights days."—Booklist

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Logan Family Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.44(w) x 7.13(h) x 0.81(d)
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Mildred D. Taylor is the author of nine novels including The Road to Memphis, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, The Land, The Well, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Her books have won numerous awards, among them a Newbery Medal (for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry), four Coretta Scott King Awards, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Her book The Land was awarded the L.A. Times Book Prize and the PEN Award for Children's Literature. In 2003, Ms. Taylor was named the First Laureate of the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. Ms. Taylor now devotes her time to her family, writing, and what she terms "the family ranch" in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Kadir Nelson ( is a two-time Caldecott Honor Award recipient. He has received an NAACP Image Award, a CASEY Award, the 2009 and 2014 Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the 2009 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award. Among Mr. Nelson's other awards are gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and The New Yorker. He lives in Los Angeles.

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The Road to Memphis 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The road to memphis is a great book.I read it after reading Roll Of Thunder.I felt like I was missing things so If you want to read this book I suggest you read roll Of thunder hear my cry and let the circle be unbroken.This is a great series and I feel like I am there.I felt a little sad towards the end but the characters are very caring and emotional towards their feelings.There are many main characters such as Cassie,Stacey,Clarence,Moe,Little willie and many more.Cassie is very sweet and heartwarming.Stacey is very intellegent and works hard to get what he needs.I would definitley rate this 5 out of 5 because it is a very unique story along with the others and at points in this story you will feel excited and at others you will cry. Hope you enjoyed!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm real surprised about the Logan kids growing up! The book was super, extra good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the story of 17-year-old Cassie struggling to get her friend,Moe, to safety after he gets steamed and hits 3 white men. Can she help him to Memphis without trouble or will she accidintally fall in love on the way?The books Ms. Taylor writes are my all-time favorite books and I would recomend every single one of them. If you love reading and are looking for a book check out these at your local library. -The Road to Memphis -The Land -Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry -Let the Circle be Unbroken -The Friendship
Guest More than 1 year ago
Does Cassie Logan ever get married? I thought that this book was outstanding, and would love to read a sequel! Please do!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this book triumphs over the other of Mildred D. Taylor's books I've read (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Let the Circle Be Unbroken). You can really tell how the stories start from a young girl in Mississippi, to a maturing woman in this title. This novel depicts the lives of the Logan children, focusing more on Stacey and Cassie, as they help their friend escape from prosecution. Their friend Moe attacks 3 white folks, as he is defending the one he loves Cassie. They try to make their way to Memphis, Tennessee to get Moe away from almost certain death (back then lynching was still legal in some states). They face turmoil and surprises on their way too Memphis, where Moe would escape from the south and his white oppressors.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love when Moe confesses his love for Cassie. It made me cry. The whole is great. Mildred describes everything so well. Its like reading a history but funner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You don't need to read Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry to get the story of this book. It is a story about the 2 older Logan kids (Cassie & Stacey)growing up and dealing with racism. They are on the road with a few other friends to help their friend Moe escape to Memphis. This is very different from the 1st book since they are pretty much on their own in this one. It is very worth reading because it is not boring at all. It is fast paced and makes you not put the book down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read The Road to Memphis at least three times, and I love it! I think if it weren't for Mildred D. Taylor, I wouldn't know the truth of what things were really like, because it's a past that most prefer to leave buried.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has depth unlike other books. Ms. Taylor's ablitiy to write about the harsh truth of what actually went on after the civil war is unbelievable. Paul Edward was a stunning character who coped with the hardship of losing both of his best friends, but he get 'the land' in the end even though he suffers much mockery. This book will keep you hooked until the very end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great if you love books by Mildred D. Taylor. I'm only 11 and I truly understand the hardships of Blacks and how they were treated. In the book someone dies(I'm not telling who) 2 people leave and one of Cassie's brothers leave. :( I hope you enjoy the book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 51 Years olds and I was surprised when I went in a book store and found out that the books by Mildred D. Taylor was in the Childrens section. I love reading her books. I can not remember much of my childhood or my relatives growing up. I love my mother but I can not remember a lot and she, bless her heart never really instilled in my sisters and brother how important it is to spend time with your sibblings and love them. I wish I could remember what my childhood was like. When I read Mildred D. Taylor it makes me feel like a little girl again and I kind of relive my childhood again, and I can feel the love that Cassy,Stacy,little man and Christifer feel for each other. It makes me wish I had that when I was growing up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The third book in the Logan family saga is exceptional. Once again Ms. Taylor strongly captures the racial discord of the 1940's and the struggle of African-Americans to maintain dignity and to be shown respect. The series should be required reading in every school in the country for grades 6-8. This book definitely leaves the reader with a strong desire to find out how things progress for the Logan's. Does Cassie go to college and become a lawyer? Does she marry the man of her dreams? What happens to her three brothers? Does Moe reach Chicago safely? A strength of Ms. Taylor's books is that nothing is wrapped up into a tidy package. Instead the stories are a clearer reflection of life - left open and sometimes uncertain but always expectant.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Road To Memphis is a book liable to touch the depts of your heart. This powerfully constructed book will definitely leave you awe-striken.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is the best ever it's a really good book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, except I think Cassie should have gone with Moe. I think Cassie should like Moe instead of the other guy. He is way too old for her! I could not put this book down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was excellence! this author knows how to write a book. i almost cried when clarence died and sissy found out and screamed. i like stacey and moe and everyone in this book except the mean people. it was really scary when the men from the gas station were chasing them. also it was really mean when the guy kicked cassie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down! i'd be so mad if the author left us hanging and didnt write the next book. i love all the books about the cassie and her family and i agree there sould be a movie like they did with harry potter. i can't wait till the next book! (P.S. i think Cassie sould start thinking less bout Solomon and more bout Moe!) :D
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was the best book I have ever read. I was outstanding. The way she put romance and tragedy in the same book and still made it great. But it needs a better ending. It just leaves you hanging. I hope she writes another book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved it. It was wonderful. Out of all her books this was the best one. I was great how she put romance and tragedy in the same book and still made it great
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so wonderful. It gave me a... clue as to what the possible real world could be like. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!!!