The Well: David's Story

The Well: David's Story

4.3 13
by Mildred D. Taylor

View All Available Formats & Editions

During a drought, the Logan family shares their well water with all their neighbors, black and white alike. But David and Hammer find it hard to share with Charlie Simms, who torments them because they are black. Hammer's pride and Charlie's meanness are a dangerous mixture, and tensions build and build. Narrated by young David Logan, Cassie's father in Roll of


During a drought, the Logan family shares their well water with all their neighbors, black and white alike. But David and Hammer find it hard to share with Charlie Simms, who torments them because they are black. Hammer's pride and Charlie's meanness are a dangerous mixture, and tensions build and build. Narrated by young David Logan, Cassie's father in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, this extraordinary story is filled with characters and events so real that they're unforgettable. " Taylor has used her gift for storytelling and skillful characterization to craft a brief but compelling novel about prejudice and the saving power of human dignity." -- School Library Journal, starred review

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Taylor's compact novella revisits the long-suffering Logan family, this time focusing on the boyhood of David (father of Cassie Logan from Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry) In the early 1900s, all the wells in their part of Mississippi have run dry-all except for the Logans'. White neighbors come from miles around to collect water, but despite the Logans' generosity, they treat David and his family with enormous disrespect. When young Charlie Simms's taunting of the Logan boys turns physical, David's older brother Hammer chooses to retaliate-a move that causes him and his family pain from all sides. Taylor, obviously in tune with these fully-developed characters, creates for them an intense and compelling situation and skillfully delivers powerful messages about racism and moral fortitude. This insightful read stands on its own, but will have a special resonance for fans of the series. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
With this book, Taylor brings us a prequel to the saga of the Logan family. Ten year old David and his brother Hammer take us through a dry, hot summer when all the wells run dry except the one on their family's land. In contending with the mean-spirited Simmses, the boys struggle with the undercurrents and overt suspicions that define race relations in the old South, as well as with the heart-rending injustice of the times. The adult characters are finely etched, especially the mother and feisty old grandmother. The persistence of familial history and memories is beautifully delineated. Above all, this is a book about pride. It's hard to put down, as are Taylor's other books, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Let the Circle Be Unbroken.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Several summers ago, I discovered Mildred Taylor's Logan family saga. The Logans are black and landowners, a dangerous combination when living in the Depression era amid the hatred of less fortunate white farmers. I gobbled up every chronicle Taylor had written, looked forward to each new release, and grieved when Taylor's announced that she'd finished the saga with The Road to Memphis. Happily, Taylor's returned to the Logan family in The Well, and jumped back a generation. The novella is set in Mississippi in the early 1900's, during a summer of drought when the Logans are the only family whose water supply has not run out. They share generously with their neighbors, white and black, and everyone appreciates their kindness, except for the Simms family. Charlie Simms, a dangerous, bigoted adult in Taylor's previous stories, is better understood when readers learn about his boyhood. He lives in constant fear of his father's cruelty and compensates by bullying others. Charlie finds his match in the bellicose and prideful Hammer Logan, who's not one to back down from a fight. So begins a summer of struggle where explosions of anger leave the two Logan boys walking a tightrope between life and death. It's a tense, fast-paced, and gripping drama.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6Another contribution to the Logan family saga, this is Father's account of an incident from his boyhood. During a drought in 1910, 10-year-old David Logan's family has the only working well in their part of Mississippi. They share their water willingly with both black and white neighbors, but white teenager Charlie Simms tests their generosity, goading David's older brother Hammer into a fight requiring restitution in the form of labor on the Simms's farm. Charlie and his brother get even for the disgrace of Hammer's beating by secretly contaminating the Logans' well with dead animals, only to be exposed and punished when a neighbor reveals their act. While David narrates, this is really Hammer's story; his pride and steely determination not to be put down are the source of the novel's action and power. Readers will feel the Logans' fear and righteous anger at the injustice and humiliation they suffer because they are black. As in The Friendship (Dial, 1987), Taylor has used her gift for storytelling and skillful characterization to craft a brief but compelling novel about prejudice and the saving power of human dignity.Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Hazel Rochman
"Charlie Simms was always mean, and that's the truth of it." From the first line, this short, intense novel of racist violence is told with the immediacy of a family narrative. David Logan (the father in Taylor's 1977 Newbery Award winner, "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry") tells a story of his boyhood in rural Mississippi at a time when "uppity niggers" can be hanged for thinking themselves equal to whites and the horror of slavery still haunts his mother's memory. The Logans are among the few black families to own land, and during a prolonged drought, they have a well of sweet water, which they share with their neighbors, black and white. Most people are grateful, but the white Simms family hates being beholden to blacks. The tense confrontation erupts in beatings and terror. The cast is large for so short a novel--it's hard sometimes to keep track of all the people in the community--but the Logan family is beautifully individualized. David is able to heed his father's warning, "Use your head, not your fists," but David's hotheaded older brother can't bear the constant humiliation. The well of the title is also a metaphor for the history of the place: both the bigotry that lies beneath the surface and the sweet strength of family ties.

Product Details

Publication date:
Logan Family Series
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.64(h) x 0.67(d)
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Mildred D. Taylor is the author of nine novels including The Road to MemphisLet the Circle Be UnbrokenThe LandThe 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Well : David's Story 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry instead
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How long is this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this just a sample because i boght it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was a great sub book to add to my collection of mildred d taylor books. i've never read this one or the other sub ones like song of the trees, but now that i have, they are small benefit books for going further into the logan family saga.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have thought this book was an outstanding book. I never would of thought to read this beacuase im like that book woul be boring.until i was convinced o youll like this.and when i got halfway i thought o wow the logans are really nice! they would of been alot nicer then anyone i would know.that is also beacuase this happend almost 100 years ago! And hammer he never gave up to wanting to kill charlie. But the sad part is that they got whiped for charlie liend to the cop and his dad. But after hammer and david were done with helping them in there yard, hammer tripped charlie and beat him up. Then said go tell your dad the truth! Instead after a week or so, Charlie through a dead skunk in the well. But that could of cuased him not to drink water! that was such a stupid idea charlie did. But he found it funny.looks like hammer is going to beat him up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i like this book because i have alot of colered friends and if anyone treated them like that i would stick up for them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the way the story flows. I know many people would enjoy this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
hey this book is really good you should read it i have read all Mrs.Taylors books and they are GREAT!!!!! go ahead and read them all you will be satisfied :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book has beeen great me and my class mates are readin it.It has been great for me so far we are on page 75 tommarow and I already know I will get a 100% beause I can pictrue this books setting really happening it touch me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Well tought me that it was very rough for black people in the 1800s and 1900s. It just wasn't fair. People were getting killed and abused all the time. White people took advantage of the colored people. I think that you should read this book so that you learn about how whites were so rough to blacks. After reading it, hopefully, you'll understand the way I do about blacks and whites during the 1800s and 1900s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it tells so much about our history!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Well takes place in Mississippi where segregation is everything. There is also a drought going on, and the only people with water are the Logans, who offer it willingly to anyone, which means black or white. The Simms Family has always been like enemies for the Logans. Even though the Logans have more land, and well water, the Simms¿s have one big thing against them: All of the Simms¿s are white, and that is their one up to the other family. The Simms boys always keep in mind what they have against the other kids, so they push around the Logans, Hammer and David. But one day, Hammer decides he is not going to take it anymore, and pushes right back. I did think this was a good novel. Some may look at it and comment amount the number of pages it has, but the message is really important, and it is good to see how much we take for granted these days and the people who worked hard to gain equality for everyone. I think a reader who has an interest in non-fiction stories about history would enjoy reading The Well: David¿s Story. Even though this certain time of person might like this book, I think anyone would because many people can appreciate what these real ¿ life people have been through for us. Overall, this novel was very well-written, and opened my eyes to what families like the Logans experienced. I hope to read more of Mildred D. Taylor¿s works that share her family¿s rich history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amazing story! The end is one that will make you smile.