Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till” as Want to Read:
Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  45 reviews
No modern tragedy has had a greater impact on race relations in America than the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till. A 14-year-old black boy from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955, Till was taken from his uncle’s home by two white men; several days later, his body was found in the Tallahatchie River. This grotesque crime became the catalyst for the civil ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Chicago Review Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Simeon's Story, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Simeon's Story

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  250 ratings  ·  45 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Simeon Wright, Emmett Till's cousin, recounts his life in Mississippi and Chicago. Simeon was one of the few witnesses to Till's abduction and the events that led up to it. He clears up some of the myths surrounding the crime and also provides an update to the murder and kidnapping investigation which was reopened in recent years, but ended without indictment. Herb Boyd is credited as a co-writer for integrating additional facts into Simeon's story. There's nothing fancy about the writing, but t ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Mississippi in the 1950s, when I was coming of age, was just like Mississippi in the 1860s, when the Ku Klux Klan and night riders were part of our daily lives."

For twelve year old Simeon Wright, this was the only way of life he knew. Growing up in the South was hard. But for his cousin, Bobo, who was visiting for the summer from Chicago, this way of life was unacceptable. He wondered why they put up with it. Until the night that two white men broke into their house and kidnapped Bobo for being
Simeon's Story may be one of the most difficult books I've ever read. Simeon Wright was the cousin of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy murdered by white supremacists. Mr. Wright describes the actual event, and how its aftermath haunted both him and his family in the following years.

Wright's narrative is very simple and straightforward, but I left this book feeling like my heart and my lungs were crushed. I can't imagine carrying such rage and grief inside for a whole life, just as much as it ki
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it
As I study the Emmett Till story the most telling part of this book for me was that Simeon was there and thus would know what truly happened and didn't happen as far as what lead to the kidnapping and death of Emmett. I was shocked that events have been taking place in recent years and I somehow have not heard of them. The till bill, the bill allowing cold case civil right files to be looked at and hopefully solved being one of those events. Time for more education on civil rights and the story ...more
Apr 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mississippi, lynching
I'm an aging white male, born and raised in Mississippi. I was seven years old when Emmett Till was murdered. Reading Simeon Wright's account of his cousin's murder fifty-six years ago reawakens a jumble of images and feelings from my childhood, and puts my life and especially my origins in perspective. ...more
I liked the straight forward approach Wright took in declaring everything he knew before, during, and after the death of Emmett "Bobo" Till, since Wright was there when Till whistled at the white woman and there in the house when he was taken by two men from their house on a visit from Chicago to Mississippi. It truly is Simeon's story.

There aren't gratuitous details nor is there a pity party, just the facts. It's about the Jim Crow south, it's about growing up black, it was about "playing by t
Edward Sullivan
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
A memoir by Emmett Till's cousin who offers a powerful portrait of life in Jim Crow-era Mississippi and offers an eyewitness account of the events leading up to and including his cousin's abduction. ...more
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Powerful and very interesting. Bought for my school library. Great non-fiction for middle grade readers!
Mar 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Another possibility for my classroom. It was interesting to learn first hand details about who Emmett Till was as a person. As his cousin, Simeon had a very personal account of what happened that tragic night in 1955. That being said, the editor did little to organize or revise Simeon's words. While this book certainly retains Simeon's voice, it can also include extraneous details and be hard to follow at times. This one doesn't make the cut for my class. ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, nonfiction
Short and simply told eyewitness account of the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till, a 14 year old boy from Chicago. Emmett was Simeon's cousin, and he was visiting Simeon in Mississippi when he was taken out of Simeon's own bed in the middle of the night, brutally beaten, and dumped in a river, all for whistling at a white woman. Simeon was witness to the "incident" at the store with Mrs. Bryant, was there the night Emmett was taken, and was in the witness room waiting to be called to testify ...more
Luisa Benson
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Born in 1941, Emmett Till would be 20 years older than me if he’d been allowed to live. But the Black teen had offended the sensibilities of small town Mississippi in 1955 by whistling at a White woman. It didn’t matter that he was only 14. It didn’t matter that he was from Chicago and didn’t understand how different the rules in the South were. He was taken from his bedroom in the middle of the night. His tortured body was found later with a face so badly mutilated that the ring of his deceased ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
"If you want an accurate account of any story, go to the primary source. They know what really happened." (p.137) This quote by Simeon Wright sums up the story of this novel. Simeon's Story written by Simeon Wright and Herb Boyd details Simeon Wright's cousin Emmett "Bobo" Till's kidnap and murder for whistling at a white woman in a grocery store in Mississippi in 1955. Simeon's story gives a detailed account about being black and dealing with segregation, Jim Crow Laws and the Ku Klux Klan in t ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised at how well he remembered everything. It was a short book, and a good read. My mom was born the same year as Emmett Til in Sumner, Mississippi. She wasnt raised there. This could have been her. My grandma probably knew Mamie...they were the same age. My grandparents and lots of other family migrated to Chicago and they are both buried in Burr Oak Cemetery,where Emmett Till was buried.

This story kept me in tears. Too close for comfort.It was very good reading for me to get a feel
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, children-s
This book finally tells the story of what happened that fateful night that 14-year-old, Emmett (Bobo) Till was taken from the home of his relatives in Money, Mississippi and was never seen alive again. His body was found floating in the river nearby with a gunshot wound to his head. Though a trial took place charging the white men (who witnesses saw take him from the home) were found innocent.
The book, written by Simeon Wright, Bobo's cousin tells the story how he remembers it. He clears up com
U. Teresa
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While this text is categorized as juvenile literature, I think it is an important text for any reader at any level to consume if you want to understand what really happened that unfortunate day and eventual night that took the life of Emmett Till. With clear, sparse text (as it should be given the subject and purpose), Wright, along with Boyd, recounts what Wright saw and experienced when Till was abducted and murdered by JW Milam and Roy Bryant. He also includes an account of how the story prog ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was on my battle of the books list. It was the last book left so i picked it. This is one of the few nonfiction book that I actually liked. it had soo much detail and it alwys kept you on your toes. I read th ewhole book cover to cover, for real, in 2 hours because I counldn't put it down. I have learned alot and my teacher and I actually have something to talk about. I feel though that it was a little horrifing when i Looked up more and was glad they didn't have any picture of how the ...more
marcus miller
Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Written for younger readers Simeon's Story is told by Simeon Wright a cousin of Emmett Till. Wright does an excellent job describing what life was like for many African-Americans living in the deep South during the 1950's. This makes it a valuable resource, supplementing what is available in most textbooks. Wright then tells the story of Till's abduction and the trial which followed. His reflections on the lack of justice and the unfairness of the judicial system strike a chord given the recent ...more
Mike Kabongo
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
My only complaint about this book is that it isn't long enough.

Simeon Wright plainly, and unbiasedly tells his part and memory of a dark, dark period of American history. Life in the Mississippi Delta in 1955 was precarious even if you'd grown up their and knew all the rules, Simeon Wright's cousin from Chicago didn't, and his life ended in the delta floating down the Tallahatchie river wired to a fan for whistling at a white woman.
Well told, good use of pictures and no grandstanding.
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read so many books about Emmett Till and this is by far the best one.
Why - The simple, straightforward accounting of the events as experienced by Simeon Wright. The only motive was to tell in his words what honestly happened. There are no added filler words to extend the book.
I felt the sadness and hurt of Mr. Wright and I applaud him for having the courage and sincerity to
document his story.
Please read, this is a short but powerful book.
Thank you
Cynthia Sillitoe
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Incredibly profound and honest. It clears up a lot of conflicting stories. In some ways, I wish it were a longer book. I would have liked to have gone deeper, known more about his life after, but it is definitely an extremely important book. I don't expect revisions to current histories, but I hope future historians will take the time to listen to an actual witness. ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. It was a simple book from someone who was there when it happened. It got to the point, told the truth, and took you through the personal journey of the author, Simeon Wright, at the time that all of this happened. The personal closeness you feel to the story makes it all the more impactful.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Simeon gives a clear and truthful account of the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till. I went through a range of motions while reading this book. This book gripped me from the beginning and I could not put this down until I finish reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what happen to Emmett Till in Mississippi in August 1955.

Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the story of Emmett Till's kidnapping and killing told by Emmett's cousin, the son of Moses Wright, who testified at the trial and identified the killers. Emmett's cousin was at the store when Emmett whistled at the store clerk, and he debunks many of the erroneous stories about what happened at the store that day.
Dewin Anguas Barnette
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a “lover of truth”, I am so thankful that Mr. Wright wrote this book. It answered all of the questions I was left with after reading Mamie Till Mobley’s book, as well as offered information on the more recent investigation of the case. Since reading Mobley’s book, I have more than admired Mose Wright, and being given the opportunity to learn more about him and his life is truly a gift.
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Simeon is not a writer by profession, however his eyewitness account of the kidnapping, the back story, and the family history make a gripping read. Knowing his story, I am stunned by the misinformation and blame that the Till and Wright families have endured, even to this day. An important read.
Nandi Crawford
The REAL story of what happened to Emmett Till, told by his cousin, Simeon Wright, the son of Mose Wright, who would testify at Emmett's trials. Find out what REALLY happened over fifty years ago between Emmett Till and the lady from someone who was truly there. ...more
The Civil Rights period is one that I find fascinating. Simeon is the cousin to Emmett Till, the young black boy who whistled at a white woman in Mississippi. He was then kidnapped, shot in the head, and his body dumped in a river. This books totally held my attention!
Soaring Seahawk
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book made me very emotional, I had read another story about Emmett Till's death in 8th grade. I feel like no matter how many times I read about this young child's murder I will always cry. I am glad to think we now see these events as a tragedy, and I am so glad we are all equal in this world. ...more
Ryan Granquist
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good book for those who want a quick look into the Emmett Till story from a first-hand account. I can't imagine the sense of helplessness the family must have felt as they watched young Emmett being abducted. They literally had nowhere to turn for immediate assistance. ...more
Jan 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Important for MS readers.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Rubyfruit Jungle
  • The Grisha Trilogy (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1-3)
  • Open Water
  • The Mis-Education of the Negro
  • Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America
  • Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley
  • Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum, #17)
  • The Souls of Black Folk
  • Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum, #16)
  • I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year
  • The Memory Keeper of Kyiv
  • Salem Witch Trials: A History from Beginning to End
  • I Am Still Alive
  • Bailey's Café
  • The Seed Keeper
  • Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum, #14.5)
  • The Murder And Lynching Of Emmett Till: The Book The Movie The Untold Story
  • Between the Plums (A Stephanie Plum Between the Numbers/Holiday Novel, #1-3)
See similar books…

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
25 likes · 2 comments
“In conclusion, here's my advice to aspiring writers, journalists, and future lawyers - or anyone planning on working in the communications field: if you want an accurate account of any story, go to the primary sources. They know what really happened.” 3 likes
More quotes…