The Well [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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The Well

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Overview

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



In Mississippi in the early 1900s ten-year-old David Logan's family generously shares their well water with both white and black neighbors in an atmosphere of potential racial violence.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101657959
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/1/1998
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 207,054
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 253 KB

Meet the Author

"From as far back as I can remember my father taught me a different history from the one I learned in school. By the fireside in our Ohio home and in Mississippi, where I was born and where my father's family had lived since the days of slavery, I had heard about our past. It was not an organized history beginning in a certain year, but one told through stories about great-grandparents and aunts and uncles and others that stretched back through the years of slavery and beyond. It was a history of ordinary people. Some brave, some not so brave, but basically people who had done nothing more spectacular than survive in a society designed for their destruction. Some of the stories my father had learned from his parents and grandparents as they had learned from theirs; others he told first-hand, having been involved in the incidents himself. There was often humor in his stories, sometimes pathos, and frequently tragedy; but always the people were graced with a simple dignity that elevated them from the ordinary to the heroic.



"Those colorful vignettes stirred the romantic in me. I was fascinated by the stories, not only because of what they said or because they were about my family, but because of the manner in which my father told them. I began to imagine myself as storyteller, making people laugh at their own human foibles or nod their heads with pride about some stunning feat of heroism. But I was a shy and quiet child, so I turned to creating stories for myself instead, carving elaborate daydreams in my mind.



"I do not know how old I was when the daydreams became more than that, and I decided to write them down, but by the time I entered high school, I was confident that I would one day be a writer. I still wonder at myself for feeling so confident since I had never particularly liked to write, nor was I exceptionally good at it. But once I had made up my mind to write, I had no doubts about doing it. It was just something that would one day be. I had always been taught that I could achieve anything I set my mind to. Still a number of years were to lapse before this setting of my mind actually resulted in the publication of any of my stories.



"In those intervening years spent studying, traveling, and living in Africa, and working with the Black student movement, I would find myself turning again and again to the stories I had heard in my childhood. One story in particular kept nagging at me, a story my father had once told me about the cutting of some beloved trees on our family land. I attempted to write it from the grandmother's point of view without success. Gradually as I struggled, new twists to the story began to emerge. At last I decided to tell it through the eyes of Cassie Logan, a spirited eight year old.



"In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Dial 1976), I included the teachings of my own childhood, the values and principles by which I and so many other Black children were reared, for I wanted to show a different kind of Black world from the one so often seen. I wanted to show a family united in love and self-respect, and parents, strong and sensitive, attempting to guide their children successfully, without harming their spirits, through the hazardous maze of living in a discriminatory society.



"I also wanted to show the Black person as heroic. In my own school days, a class devoted to the history of Black people in the United States always caused me painful embarrassment. This would not have been so if that history had been presented truly, showing the accomplishments of the Black race both in Africa and in this hemisphere. But as it was, the indictment of slavery was also an indictment of the people who were enslaved a people who, according to the texts, were docile and childlike, accepting their fate without once attempting to free themselves. To me, this lackluster history of Black people totally devoid of any heroic or pride-building qualities, was as much a condemnation of myself as it was of my ancestors. I used to sit tensely waiting out those class hours trying to think of ways to repudiate what the textbooks said, for I recognized that there was a terrible contradiction between what was in them and what I learned at home.



"It is my hope that to the children who read my books, the Logans will provide those heroes missing from the schoolbooks of my childhood, Black men, women, and children of whom they can be proud."



Mildred D. Taylor was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and grew up in Toledo, Ohio. After graduating from the University of Toledo, she spent two years in Ethiopia with the Peace Corps teaching English and history. As a member of the Black Student Alliance, at the University of Colorado, she worked with students and university officials in structuring a Black Studies program at the university. Upon receiving her master's degree, she worked in the Black Education Program as study skills coordinator. She currently lives in Colorado.



copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

4 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    CLICK HERE!!!

    Read Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry instead

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2006

    Pretty Good

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2014

    How long

    How long is this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Is it

    Is this just a sample because i boght it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    the well...

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2009

    the well

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2009

    i really like this book!!

    it tells so much about our history!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2006

    i love this book

    i like this book because i have alot of colered friends and if anyone treated them like that i would stick up for them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2004

    Very good book

    Amazing story! The end is one that will make you smile.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2004

    The book is incredible

    I love the way the story flows. I know many people would enjoy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2003

    i loved this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    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 :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2001

    The Well is a great book

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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