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The Sittin' Up

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  76 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
When Mr. Bro. Wiley, Bean's adopted grandfather and the last slave man around, dies in the summer of 1940, Bean and his very best friend Pole are some kind of hurt. Everyone in the Low Meadows is. Despite their grief, they are proud and excited to be included in their very first Sittin' Up--a wake for the dead. Bean and Pole know this special week will be one to remember, ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published January 9th 2014 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Alex Baugh
Mar 12, 2014 Alex Baugh rated it liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
For 12 year old Stanbury Jones, Jr., called Bean, the night that his friend, Mr. Bro. Wiley, the 100 year old former slave that lived with the Jones family, passes away begins one of the most important weeks in his life.

Mr. Bro. Wiley had lived with Bean’s family for 5 years, since 1935. Bean and his best friend Martha Rose, called Pole, spent much of their childhood in the company of this loving, gentle man, listening to his stories about life in the Low Meadows community, and learning from hi
Mar 29, 2014 Rekha rated it really liked it
Most middle grade fiction that deals with death tends to deal with the aftermath of death. A parent or friend dies and the child protagonist is left to figure it out, often confused and only semi-supported. This makes sense because the way that death is dealt with overall in mainstream US culture often is just that: confusing and unsupported. This book was the first middle grade that I have read in some time that does the opposite of that-- death is met head on, within a context of community and ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Crystal rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, middle-grade
Title: The Sittin' Up
Author: Sheila P. Moses
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 244
Availability: January 9, 2014
Review Copy: ARC from Publisher

This title caught my attention - a middle grade book about children sitting with a dead body? I almost didn't believe it, but that's exactly what Sheila P. Moses wrote. In The Sittin' Up, Mr. Bro. Wiley, a revered man in the Low Meadow community, dies and the story is about what the community does to honor his life and death.

The main characters are two young
Elissa Schaeffer
Feb 15, 2014 Elissa Schaeffer rated it really liked it
The Low Meadows has lost a revered member of their community with the passing of Mr. Bro. Wiley, and twelve-year-old Bean has lost his dear friend and grandfather figure. But for the first time, Bean's family thinks he is of the right age to take part in his first sittin' up--a wake for the recently departed Mr. Bro. Wiley.

This is the story of Bean and his best friend Pole, both 12 and both with big dreams and plans for the future--the first generation in their families where these sorts of aspi
Sep 02, 2015 Angie rated it liked it
Mr. Bro. Wiley is the last former slave in the Low Meadows of North Carolina when he dies in 1940. He has been living with the Jones family and when he dies they are devastated as is the rest of the community. The area starts planning for his sitting up (a week of gatherings before the burying). Twelve-year-old Bean is pretty excited about the sitting up even though he is sad at the passing of Mr. Bro. Wiley. This will be his first sitting up and proof that he is becoming a man. His friend Pole ...more
Sep 21, 2014 Jenny rated it liked it
Stanbury Jr. and the members of his community have just lost a good man. Mr. Bro. Wiley, a one-hundred year old former slave, was living with Standbury Jr. and his parents. They became very close, and Mr. Bro. Wiley was like a father to them all.

Everyone in the town loved Mr. Bro. Wiley and is planning on showing up for the "sittin' up" which will be held at Stanbury Jr.'s house. Stanbury Jr. is becoming a man and gets to help his family make preparations. During this time, readers get to learn
Dena (Batch of Books)
I wavered between three and four stars on this book and decided to go for 3.5. I'll round up to 4 on Goodreads.

There were so many things I liked about The Sittin' Up. I liked getting to know the small community of Low Meadows and the characters in it. I loved the dynamic between the neighbors—all the gossip and sassing each other. It reminded me of some of the places I lived as a kid. I adored Bean and his friendship with Pole. And of course, I loved his memories of Mr. Bro Wiley. Some of my fav
Jun 30, 2014 Fran rated it it was amazing
The title alone pulls you in. What exactly is a "Sittin' Up?" Boy, do you ever find out!

Bean and Pole (nicknames, of course) are the best of friends and have big dreams for kids who live in the Low Meadows. Bean aspires to be a lawyer and Pole a doctor, and with the help of family and Mr. Creecy ( a dignified black man in the community who gives them hope), they just might make it.

Low Meadows is a small community of sharecroppers. The age of slavery has passed, but sharecropping and owing most
When a revered member of the community passes away the whole town mourns his passing. Mr. Bro. Wiley lived to be 100 years old, was born into slavery, and believed in helping anyone and everyone. He had many friends and an extended family. The story is set in 1940 in the Low Meadows of North Carolina. As was the custom back then, when an African American person passed away the body was brought home for the wake.

The story is told through 12 year old Bean's viewpoint and gives readers a vivid dep
Narrated by J. D. Jackson. All of rural Low Meadows is mourning the passing of beloved Mr. Bro. Wiley, the old slave man. Bean's parents are planning the sittin' up, where mourners will gather to remember. The spectre of a big storm however, looms over their grief. Jackson's performance is spectacular, from voicing the wise Mr. Bro Wiley to the outspoken, righteous Lottie Pearl. He even sings lines from spirituals. His vocal touch is gentle and soothing, as if he were comforting the Low Meadow ...more
May 03, 2014 Peggy rated it liked it
This is an older elementary early middle school book about the week Bean spent sittin up after the death of Mr. Bro. Wiley. Mr. Bro Wiley lived with Bean's family and was like a dear grandfather to Bean. He was a well loved man, the last living slave in this lowland community. We learn about the kindness and wisdom of mr. Bro. Wiley and the customs of mourning the dead during this week of sittin up. During this week there were torrential rains and a dam breaks, we see a glimmer of hope and ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Desiree rated it really liked it
The sittin up by Sheila P. Moses examines the practice known as sitting up with the dead. Before embalming was common, some people who were really in a coma were buried alive. The sittin up allowed a community to pay their respects and also gave the dead that chance to rise again-if they were only sleeping. Bean and his best friend Pole are finally old enough to go to their first sittin up. However, a great storm threatens to ruin the sittin up and the community attending it. Set in the ...more
May 25, 2014 Sonja rated it it was amazing
The premise is deceptively simple - 12-year-old Bean watches and reports as his tight-knit southern community grieves for Mr. Bro. Wiley, the last former slave in the county. As they plan Mr. Bro. Wiley's funeral and pre-funeral "sittin' up" in the face of an oncoming storm, Bean threads together Mr. Bro. Wiley's old stories, and his own memories and keen observations. Balancing humor and heart-rending, Bean paints a picture of a town where the sharp divide between black and poor and white and ...more
Aug 24, 2015 Yapha rated it really liked it
This story takes place in a one week period during the summer of 1940, from the death of Mr. Bro. Wiley to his burial. At the age of 100, Mr. Bro. Wiley was the last former slave alive in Low Meadows, North Carolina. He was a wise and kind man, as we learn through the community's reaction to his death. The story is narrated by twelve-year-old Bean, who feels the loss of his friend and mentor greatly. A fascinating study of the deep south and the lasting effects of slavery well into the 1940s. ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Kristin rated it liked it
Shelves: published-2014
I found this book a bit boring but not at all unreadable. I liked the setting and language. The characters had quirks that made them come to life, like Pa's speech pattern. Not a lot happened in the plot, until the end. Even in the end, I never really felt a major conflict or sense of doom.

Recommended for young middle school students interested in American historical fiction.
Kay Carman
Feb 23, 2016 Kay Carman rated it liked it
Summary: "When the patriarch of twelve-year-old Bean's sharecropping community dies, Bean gets a lesson in not only what it means to lose someone you love, but also in how his family and friends care for their dead."

This is a good historical fiction novel with some very sweet, touching and inspirational moments, but it's pretty slow-moving.
Aug 13, 2014 Bethe rated it liked it
bookaday #115. Interesting look at depression era, pre-civil rights, African American community as they prepare to celebrate the life and times of their beloved remaining former slave. I like how th later on chapter, and author's note bring the story up to present times. Hell used as place and as swear word.
Aug 20, 2016 Kari rated it really liked it
Being a west-coast white woman, I have never heard of Sittin' Up. But with Shelia P Moses's book, The Sittin' Up I felt like Mr Bro Wiley was my family and I wanted to do him the honor of sitting up for his funeral while I got to know the world around me in depression era deep south.
May 12, 2014 Kara rated it liked it
Good voice and characters, liked that it was a story all told around one death, an important death that affects the whole community.
Quite a bit of action taking place in a very short period of time with flashbacks that fit into the story by explaining the current action. Good story.
Jul 08, 2014 Stacey rated it liked it
Shelia P. Moses really brings the Low Meadows community alive and it's neat that she used her childhood memories to help her create this loving and crazy community.
Feb 25, 2014 Shaun rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
I really wanted to enjoy this book, but maybe timing and my mood were off. I had a hard time adjusting to the language.
Sep 11, 2015 Rachelramos rated it really liked it
This book might be difficult for kids who have little or no experience with dialect, but if they can get past that, they would enjoy the story
Michelle rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2014
Flynn rated it it was ok
Sep 10, 2015
Diane rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2015
Shundarius Hollie
Shundarius Hollie rated it really liked it
Jun 30, 2016
Diane Strait
Diane Strait rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2014
Valerie Arnold
Valerie Arnold rated it it was ok
Jul 03, 2014
Sophia Parsons
Sophia Parsons rated it did not like it
Oct 13, 2014
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Poet, author, playwright, and producer Shelia P. Moses was raised the ninth of ten children on Rehobeth Road in Rich Square, North Carolina. She is the co-author of Dick Gregory's memoir, Callus on My Soul, as well as the award-winning author of several books for young readers. Shelia lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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