There are times when a tree can no longer withstand the pain inflicted on it, and the wind will take pity on that tree and topple it over in a mighty storm. All the other trees who witnessed the evil look down upon the fallen tree with envy. They pray for the day when a wind will end their suffering.Read more...
There are times when a tree can no longer withstand the pain inflicted on it, and the wind will take pity on that tree and topple it over in a mighty storm. All the other trees who witnessed the evil look down upon the fallen tree with envy. They pray for the day when a wind will end their suffering.
I pray for the day when God will end mine.
In a time and place without moral conscience, fourteen-year-old Ansel knows what is right and what is true.
But it is dangerous to choose honesty, and so he chooses silence.
Now an innocent man is dead, and Ansel feels the burden of his decision. He must also bear the pain of losing a friend, his family, and the love of a lifetime.
Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honoree Julius Lester delivers a haunting and poignant novel about what happens when one group of people takes away the humanity of another.
- ISBN-13: 9780061558900
- ISBN-10: 0061558907
- Publisher: Amistad Press
- Publish Date: November 2008
- Page Count: 129
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
- Dimensions: 7.24 x 5.3 x 0.69 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.5 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 59.
- Review Date: 2008-11-03
- Reviewer: Staff
A sense of foreboding permeates the first half of this powerful novel, which opens with an allusion to a lynching: in the Deep South, says an unidentified narrator, the oldest trees “do not speak because they are ashamed.” Lester (Pharaoh's Daughter) begins the action proper in the summer of 1946, homing in on Ansel Anderson, being trained to take over his father's business at the age of 14—old enough, his father, Bert, thinks, “to understand what it meant to be white” and for shop assistant Willie, whom Ansel treats like a brother, “to understand what it meant to be a nigger.” After Willie's father is falsely accused of raping and murdering the preacher's daughter—by the man demonstrably guilty—the townsmen clamor for a hanging. Ansel demands that Bert back up Willie's testimony; Bert silences him and makes him help get the rope from the family store, then watch the lynching. Focusing on the repercussions of white guilt, the author's understated, haunting prose is as compelling as it is dark; if the characterizations tend toward the extreme, the story nonetheless leaves a deep impression. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)