Mississippi Bridge is one of my favorite books for young children. This book is used with our gifted students because it demonstrates how different cultures deal with conflict. Ms. Taylor's black characters take a subservient role when in the presence of most white characters, but on their own they are unique individuals with a drive and purpose that the white characters lack. I was glad to see the Logan family again, and to learn more about Jeremy Simms, one of the white characters. I liked the way Ms. Taylor dealt with Jeremy's effort to understand racial discrimination, the fact that Jeremy does not share his father's view of black people, and that he is willing to disobey his father because he knew those beliefs were wrong. The ending of the book is very poignant and allows the reader to explore not only the character's feelings but their own. The reader needs to be aware that Ms. Taylor doesn't avoid use of derogatory terms of the time. This gives the reader an authentic representation of life for people of color in 1930's Mississippi. The "N Word" is used as part of the colloquial speech of that time.
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