“The Land,” by Mildred Taylor

“The Land,” by Mildred Taylor is a prequel to the Newberry Award Winning “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.”

Book Cover Art for The Land by Mildred TaylorOf the books by Mildred Taylor that I have read all touch on sensitive racial issues. “The Land” is no exception. The main character is a boy named Paul-Edward. Early in the story, Taylor introduces the defining theme of “The Land”:

Now what Mitchell said was true. I did have a white daddy. He was a prosperous man, or at least he had been before the way. He owned a lot of land, and until a few years back he had owned his share of slaves too. My mama had been one of those slaves.

“The Land” covers Paul-Edward's life in great detail, from his early life on his father's estate. As Paul grows up his life goal is to own land like his father, and in his teenage years he leaves home in a fit of rebellion, determined to succeed in the real world on his own.

Though it was easy for Paul to leave home, he finds life on his own to be a lot harder than he had expected. In the racist atmosphere of the 1880's Paul is generally accepted by neither white nor black people. To make his dream of owning his own land come true Paul must find friends that truly care for him, viewing his as neither black nor white, but as a person.

In reading “The Land” I felt that the storyline had a very genuine feel to it. To a large extent this is because the plot is very closely tied to Mildred Taylor's actual family history. She ties in historical elements seamlessly, and isn't afraid to write the events exactly as they occurred. “The Land” is not watered down; it was not written with political correctness intended. Rather “The Land” is designed as a sort of family history to explain the background behind the events and characters in “Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry.”

I would recommend the entire award winning series by Mildred Taylor to older readers, both for its historical aspects and its discussion of racial issues.

Inkweaver Rating:

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Inkweaver Review 2009-03-02T10:53:00-06:00

16 replies so far. What are your thoughts?

hobo said...

What is the Setting of the book? Where does it take place? What time of year is it?

NathanKP said...

"The Land" takes place over many years of its main character's life, in several different cities and states.

Therefore questions such as what time of year, and where the book takes place don't make sense. However, the setting of the book is, in general, the United States during the time of Jim Crow and strong racism.

Anonymous said...

but like were in specific..?

Anonymous said...

i need an answer that's true &&fast please??

Bailey said...

I loved this book. I gave it a rating of 10 on a scale of 1-10. I rated it that because Mildred Taylor really explained the charters well. You could put yourself in their shoes. You could feel their emotions and what they were feeling.

Evan said...

As not just a black man but as a reader this book was a large disappointment the characters are poorly conceived and the plot is dull. Most of the time it feels like biography. Paul handles his white brother in a immature manner and does not only refuse to forgive him but becomes untrustworthy of the race altogether. When characters die it their is no morning or regret but that is due to their lack of development. The mediocre plot is poorly sewn together and is overall not very good. It is sad really that the plot is so flimsy it has no substance without the whole racism gimmick the story frequently shoves down the readers throat. Not Mildred D Taylor's best work 2 out of 5

Anonymous said...

first off well said Evan, also describe the fathers plantation, how it looks, what anials ive there,size,ect and the pau buys in mississippi

Anonymous said...

im reading it right now. every page though i feel like im about to cry. its a fantastic book!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this book I have read it 6 times my favorite chapter is betrayal cuz it has a breaking point and really strong emotions

Anonymous said...

I have just read the book for my eigth grade summer reading and in the past years i have read roll of thunder and let the circle be unbroken i was very suprised wasnt her best but i still enjoyed the book couldnt put it down :)

Anonymous said...

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i am in eight grade and reading this book overall i think it is a very good book but why is land so important to paul?

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