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One Mississippi: A Novel
 
by
Mark Childress
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One Mississippi: A Novel

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  2,749 ratings  ·  393 reviews
"There is nothing small about Childress's fine novel. It's big in all the ways that matter - big in daring, big in insight, and big-hearted. Really, really big-hearted." -New Orleans Times-Picayune

This exuberantly acclaimed novel by the author of the bestselling Crazy in Alabama tells an uproarious and moving story about family, best friends, first love, and surviving the...more
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Published September 19th 2007 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Barbara
Maybe you had to be around in the 70's to understand this book.If you have ever encountered true racism, had a friend commit suicide, dome something totally stupid and dangerous as a teenager, felt completely alienated from your parents, or tried to save someone from himself, you will still find an element to identify with in this book. This is one of my all-time favorites. If you are too young to have know the 70's. read this book anyway.
Maria
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jaime
I thought this was an incredible story. What starts out as a tale of youthful innocence ends up as so, so much more. The results of that first, relatively small lie cannot be imagined even by the reader. Despite the dark undertones and serious subjects tackled by Childress in this portrait of the South in the early 70s, there is a lot of laughter and fun here — the Fullflower Baptist Church musical, what Daniel’s father does after he loses his job, Daniel and Tim’s meeting with Cher, for example...more
Dianna
Set in a high school in Mississippi during desegregation in the seventies; a formula for disaster, which the author delivers. It is a coming of age story for Daniel Musgrove and filled with other interesting characters. I found this novel disturbing even with the tongue-in-cheek humor throughout. Although very well written, it hurt to read it.
Jillian
A good read with snappy language that really deals with some complex and hefty social issues.

It starts off simple, innocent, and I found myself thinking--okay, I've seen this before. Yet another coming of age story. But very quickly, I realized that there was oh-so-much more going on in this novel. By the time this novel finishes, Childress has addressed everything from racism to homophobia, from the social ostracism of high school to how ridiculous religious zealots can be.

The main criticism t...more
Aaron
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelsey
Half way through this book, I'm irritated with yet another story that "needs" to use sex and language to sell it. The premise, however, is captivating and the writing style engaging. I'm going to finish the book but would be slightly embarrassed to recommend it.
Like Mark Childress' novel, Crazy in Alabama, and later movie with Melanie Griffith, it is a topic that covers Civil Rights and integration in the South during the 1970s.
continuation...
It's confusing that is how I previously viewed the...more
Mel
This is one of those books I picked up mostly because I liked the cover design. And it's set in Mississippi, where I have spent a lot of time visiting family. Turned out to be a good read. I like the fish-out-of-water main character and felt for him as he struggled with guilt, love and conflicted feelings about his best friend. The twists and turns were intriguing, if slightly predictable. I liked the mix of darkness with humor. And I identified with the southern-ness of Daniel's mother — she re...more
Ginger
At the start, this appears to be your basic southern childhood adventures memoir. Led by the famous "My Dog Skip" by Willie Morris, it's a genre that can be enjoyable, but pretty predictable. Kid moves to a small town. His parents are troubled. He's a loner. He bemoans that there is nothing to do there until he makes a wild new friend who leads him on dangerous adventures that help the kid find some true core of himself.

This started that way, but took some interesting diversions. It's set in 70...more
Christa Sgobba
This felt like it was about three books in one, and in this case, that's not a bad thing. It wasn't that the book was disjointed, but it progressed in unexpected ways, took surprising twists, that moved the plot and the story in completely different directions.

At the start, this felt like a nice, comfortable coming-of-age novel, set in a small town in 1970s Mississippi, where school integration has only just begun. Daniel, the narrator, had just moved to the area, and was having a hard time fit...more
Melissa
I found this book on the "staff picks" shelf at my favorite library. I love love love coming-of-age novels like this book, especially if they're set in the south. (See also The Secret Life of Bees, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, Wish You Well). I also loved that I busted out laughing several times while reading this book.
16 yr old Daniel Musgrove is forced to move with his family in the 1970's to Mississippi. He befriends Tim and soon they are inseparable. They have a bond...more
Thomas Holbrook
The opening paragraphs of this novel do what a good opening to a novel is supposed to do – draw the reader in and let them know what they are about to read without giving the story away. In its opening scene, One Mississippi shows a group of 15-year-old boys spending an afternoon “following the mosquito truck through the streets, breathing the sweet-smelling clouds of DDT because we’d heard it would get you high.” p. 3. The message – no matter how sweetly it may smell, poison is still deadly. M...more
wally
looks to have a comic element to it: "bud looked like dad and dad respected him for that."

great story.

16-yr-old daniel musgrove narrates life in indiana, moving to mississippi, meeting tim cousins, prom night, before & after, the whole shebang. the time is 1973, thereabouts, give or take a year and the story covers a period of about a year, give or take. i like how that was done, no newsreels came spinning out of the page at me, but you knew time is passing.

daniel is the second child of thre...more
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle
.
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Review here at my blog.

Now and then, I wish I weren’t restricted to five stars on my reviews. Sometimes I want to give so many stars they stretch across the page. An over-the-top reaction? Definitely. But this book is so worth it.

One Mississippi is the story of Daniel Musgrove and his family who move to Mississippi from Indiana in the summer of 1973 when his father receives a transfer from the chemical company he sells products for. Daniel and his siblings, Janie and Bud, are against the move....more
Philip E.
I borrowed this book from my daughter. She did not like it. As I read, I thought it was one of those "coming of age" books for teens. I was wrong. The protagonist is a high school junior, but the book is way beyond teen reading. It hurts to read it. Set in Mississippi in the 70's it reopened for me a time when I was in college, seminary and starting my ministry. Raw language. X-rated in parts. You have been warned.

This book reminds me that my life has been easy compared to many of my fellow Ame...more
Bruce
Now I know why Stephen King recommended this book: He has a long history of creating predatory, pathetic gay characters in his novels ("Needful Things" is the worst--couldn't finish it). This book has a record three sad, tortured, variously criminal gay characters. Oh, and a black girl who rejects her race.

I realize Childress is trying to deal with the destructive impact of racism and homophobia in the Deep South in the 1970s, but in his effort to push readers' limits he just offends in his own...more
Mum
3.5 Stars. I would say that Daniel had a very miserable junior year as a transplant to Mississippi. He has a father like "The Great Santini," a recently and very uncomfortably integrated high school, so-called friends from sundry high school "groupings," and without his knowing it is sitting on a multitude of powder kegs. It was 1973.

Unless it was a satire, it was over the top. Too much happened in a small town that somehow supported the strangest collection of teenagers and educators I have re...more
Sheryl
**Whatever you do...don't read the reviews on here, the first review contains HUGE spoilers!!!!**** My review does not contain spoilers, hoewever!

This was the first Mark Childress book that I read and cannot wait to delve into another one!!

Set in Mississipi during the early 70s when they were just allowing blacks to attend public schools...Starts a tale of two new best friends trying to make it through the school year one day at a time. Juniors in high school battling teenage issues of family, b...more
Steven
Jun 09, 2008 Steven rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: almost anyone
Shelves: novels
I enjoyed this book, found myself thinking about its plot and characters after finishing it. I read it at a torrid pace.

This is an intense, coming-of-age novel. The plot has many unexpected turns that develop the characters, not plot for plot's sake. The ending is not totally unanticipated, although the final realization is.

The story and characters rate a five. But the writing itself only a four. The characters develop through the events in the plot, not through the writing. And some characters...more
Stephanie
I'm not sure of what kind of judgment to make about this book. When it starts you think "oh, another coming of age book" but the seemingly average characters have some dark and hidden secrets. Also the setting of Mississippi in the 70's (I think) gives a racial unsettling to the events. At times almost humorous but the book also has it moments of fear and tragedy.

Finished the book last night and it definitely had its tragedy. To me it was interesting that although it was set in the early 70"s so...more
Bethany
How does a move across the country impact a young high school student? What happens to a young person when they do not follow social norms and report their involvement in an accident? What are ways that racism can be fought? These are some of the questions that One Mississippi explores.

Mark Childress tells the story of a teenager (David) who has to move from Indiana to MIssissippi as his father's job was relocated. Mississippi is quite a culture shock for David, but he makes one good friend. Da...more
Marsha
There is humor here, but I would definitely NOT call this a humorous book. There are plenty of opportunities to absorb the examinations of racism, bullying, social and family dysfunction, and growing pains that Childress describes with painful accuracy and identify to some extent. But the subject matter and shocking (DISTURBING) ending left a bad taste, and I was not able to get over that enough to give it a very high recommendation.
Cheryl in CC NV
Wow - would one kid, in one year, have had to deal with multiple family challenges, racism, issues related to homosexuality, a brother getting drafted to Vietnam, and coming-of-age and losing his virginity and trying to get through high school? Well, maybe in 1970-71, in the years of turmoil following the Civil Rights Act and corresponding with the Youth revolution.
Franca
The writing is excellent. The story interesting and very funny at times, tragic at others.
I like Mark Childress's style and plan on reading more of his books.
Eleanor
I thought I was reading a "good ol" book, and then
it turned into a horror story ... a school shooting.
Ouch - I hate those kind of twists ...
Maryann
This book starts out seeming so lighthearted and funny, but at its core it's Southern Gothic with a civil rights twist. That, and we're all crazy.
Mark
Stylistically, this was a very well written book that drew the reader into its world of the turbulent 60's with tongue-in-cheek humor and social commentary that seemed fresh and relevant to today. But several elements of the story just didn't seem to fit with the time and the place in which the novel was set. One finds it easy to understand Daniel's loyalty to his troubled friend, Tim, and his attraction to the girl, Arnita. But the explosive ending, and the ease with which these children of the...more
rebellyell666
„Okay, Alter. Schwing Deinen verdammten Arsch in meinen sternenblauen Pinto und ich fahr Dich irgendwohin. – Wohin? – Na, irgendwohin. Zu der beschissenen High School, in der man keine Chance hat als Schwarzer, in der man hinten sitzen muss, egal, ob man die Rassentrennung aufgehoben hat. In der das Wort Nigger eine Schlacht in der Aula hervor ruft. – Was? – Klar ist das scheiße, aber was willst Du machen? Wir sind hier in Mississippi und nicht Kalifornien. Hier ist es immer heiß und mein Kumpel...more
April
http://smartgirlsread.blogspot.com/

Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and thought to yourself, "That was messed up"? That was pretty much how it went for me today. At first, I was really enjoying One Mississippi by Mark Childress, our book club selection for August. The book begins as a kind of coming of age novel about a sixteen-year-old boy, Daniel, who has just moved to Minor, Mississippi, from Indiana. He has to make new friends and adjust to the culture of the deep south that is so n...more
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Did this book change anyone else's life? 2 20 Jul 27, 2013 06:22PM  
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Mark Childress was born in Monroeville, Alabama. He is the author of six previous novels and three books for children. Childress has received the Thomas Wolfe Award, the University of Alabamas Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Alabama Library Associations Writer of the Year. He is a staff member and a director of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. He has lived in Ohio, Indiana, Mississipp...more
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