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Mississippi Trial, 1955

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  3,119 ratings  ·  740 reviews
Winner of the 2003 International Reading Association Award for Young Adult Novel

At first Hiram is excited to visit his hometown in Mississippi. But soon after he arrives, he crosses paths with Emmett Till, a black teenager from Chicago who is also visiting for the summer, and Hiram sees firsthand how the local whites mistreat blacks who refuse to "know their place." When E
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 24th 2003 by Speak (first published May 27th 2002)
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Eddie Who is the blind candy counter man? Why is he important?
Who is the blind candy counter man? Why is he important?
Kayla He meant owning slaves.He didn't think that African Americans should have the same rights as whites…moreHe meant owning slaves.He didn't think that African Americans should have the same rights as whites(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Mississippi Library Commission
Mississippi Trial, 1955 is a strong introduction for middle schoolers to the civil rights era in Mississippi. Although the book's centers around a young white protagonist, the tragic story of Emmett Till is told in a way that pre-teens can grasp. Chris Crowe has a pretty way with words, too. One of our favorite quotes from the book was,

"Maybe God put different kinds of people on earth so we could all learn to get along."

Highly recommended, especially with a group discussion.
Natalie Elizarraras
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mississippi Trail, 1955 is a very powerful book because one of the main characters is racist. This book is a perfect example of how people were in the south during this time period. Emmett Till, an African American teenager got murdered for whistling at white woman. This novel is based on the true story of Emmett Till. I thought R.C. helped kill Emmett when he showed up with a bloody shirt but that was not true. When they were little, it was so cute when Hiram was kind of flirting with Naomi! I ...more
Melissa Jacobson
Actual rating 4.75

So...I read this at work. And Incried at work. This was a poignant and incredibly well written book about an awful incident in our countries history. I genuinely loved so much of this story. My one complaint with this is that the story focused so heavily on a boy who was outside of the main action of the story so the story was not truly as tense as it should have been until about halfway through the book. That aside though this is a poignant and realistic look at the event sur
Christopher Campbell
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mississippi Trial, 1955

As a young boy Hiram Hillburn's whole world was spending time with his grandpa and enjoying the comforts of living in Greenwood, Mississippi. He never noticed any wrong in his world. But the pleasant world inside a child's mind doesn't quite reflect the unpleasant truth of reality. Hiram's father knows that truth all too well and takes Hiram away from it. After seven years away from Greenwood, sixteen year old Hiram returns to find that his childhood memory didn't include
Dec 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Ok, so I personally read this book in about three english classes. I found it an easy read. In my school district when you're in eight grade you have to read this along with many others. If it wasn't for my English teacher telling us we had to read it I would have never picked this book up on my own. Over all I have to say to I liked this book.

This book is the story if Hiram Hillburn's life as a child and young adult the Missippi. The struggle for knowledge and the closeness of his grandfather
Carol Baldwin
The first novel I chose to study scene making was the award winning book, Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe. I anticipated learning more about Jim Crow. I gained that, and much more.

Crowe's debut novel (Penguin Putnam, 2002) is based on the true story of the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till. Crowe created a believable white protagonist, Hiram Hillburn, whose life is irrevocably changed following Emmett's kidnapping and murder.

As a young child, Hiram spent several years in Greenwood, Mi
Carol Storm
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one day while substitute teaching for an eighth grade English class. It's got family drama, suspense, some unexpected twists, and important history all the way through. R.C. Rydell was repulsive yet strangely fascinating. He reminded me of Dallas in THE OUTSIDERS!

The only flaw that annoyed me was that the author doesn't make much effort to write dialogue that sounds authentic to the region and the period. The mean rednecks call people "weirdos."
Alex Johnson
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This book... didn't age super well. Good if you want to introduce a white middle schooler (or upper el) about the culture of the South pre-Civil Rights and learn a bit more about Emmett Till. For the context I was looking for, for black students to connect to, doesn't work at all. Fast and simple read, but definitely has a few violent scenes. ...more
Ethan :)
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Review for: Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe

Short Summary of Book:
At first Hiram is excited to visit his hometown in Mississippi. But soon after he arrives, he crosses paths with Emmett Till, a black teenager from Chicago who is also visiting for the summer, and Hiram sees firsthand how the local whites mistreat blacks who refuse to "know their place." When Emmett's tortured dead body is found floating in a river, Hiram is determined to find out who could do such a thing.

So, th
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was based on the brutal torture and murder of Emmett Till, a black teenager from Chicago visiting family in Mississippi during the summer of 1955. The infamous trial, in which the two men who only months later admitted to murder in a magazine interview, found both men innocent of the crime. These events played a crucial part in setting off the Civil Rights Movement in the following years.

So was this an important event and one worthy of retelling from the standpoint of a fictional chara
Melissa McCauley
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Mississippi Trial 1955 is an amazing historical fiction about events that happened in Mississippi. This book is written by Christopher E. Crowe who has written several other historical fiction books. The book was set in the time where slavery was still happening in the south. This book is about a boy named Hiram Hilburn who lives in arizona and goes to live with his grandpa in Mississippi. Everything seems to be going perfect and he meets an African American boy named Emmett Till. He is read ...more
Chris Schat
Aug 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Childhood in the south has never been better for a young boy named Hirim. Having spent a considerable amount of time being raised by his grandparents, (while his dad was first away for war, then second away for school) Hirim enjoyed the luxury of home cooked meals, fishing and spending time in the fields drinking lemonade with his grandfather. All of that changed though when his dad moved him to Arizona for reasons that Hirim at the time was “too young to understand.” Now seven years later Hirim ...more
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book Mississippi Trial, 1955 is an amazing book by Chris Crowe. This book is based on a tragic murder that helped to start the Civil Rights movement. All the characters in this book were from different backgrounds and had very different outlooks. One character sees living in the Delta as an amazing place, while others see it as a terrible, dangerous place to live and grow up. The characters also have different personalities and how they think about things. The main character Hiram Hilbrum se ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a great for any reader as it is an interesting story. This book showed the tension between races in the past. This made the story feel very real. The book is a historical fiction novel that is set in the past, the book perfectly sets up the setting for a small southern american town during that time period. The story is interesting as you can see how a young white boy isn't like his ancestors he is a just man who wants to help. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an in ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a re-read for me. I loved the book when I first read it and I still find it fascinating historical fiction. Chris Crowe did an excellent job of taking us back to a monumental historical moment--an event of which no one should be proud.
It was heartbreaking, frustrating, emotional and very powerfully written! I enjoyed it!
Jeff Mere
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nice twist going from the perspective of a fictional white character close to the death of Emmett Till. Highly recommend and thinking about how to get a classroom set for my students next year.
Susanne Huizing
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am always amazed at how my grade 10 students react to this historical fiction about racism, bullying, and the need for us all to become an ally.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
As young adult historical fiction goes, this is pretty good book. It does well introducing young readers to the brutality and meanness of the South during the early Civil Rights era. Especially regarding an often forgotten event: the murder of 14 year old Emmitt Till. It provides good details and facts regarding the trial and newspaper accounts.

However that's where I felt it fell short and fell into the "white-people won't understand it unless it's written from a white perspective" point of view
Bobby Stephenson
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Our way of life is precious. It's the way I live, the way my daddy lived, my granddaddy, and his daddy before him. It's going to be the way you live if I have anything to say about it."

In Greenwood, Mississippi, in 1955, there was still segregation. Hiram's Grandpa made this statement when Hiram and his grandpa were talking about combining whites and African Americans in the same schools. I picked this quote because I found it interesting that at first, Hiram didn't think much about what his gr
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books I have read. I have read it more than once. I love this book because it is kinda of a mystery book they have to find out a lot of things so they can get there trial going. It also is a sad book because of the way everyone is getting treated in it. It was very sad to hear when Emmit Till died and everyone thought it was Hiram because he is a black person and that is what they do. It shows through the whole book that everyone is different than we think and that we ...more
Wow! Read this book in one sitting! Amazing writer! This is a historical fiction novel about the Emmett Till murder and trial. The story of Emmett Till is not well-known but it should be. An African American teen age boy from Chicago was visiting family in a southern town in the summer on 1955 and ends up murdered. The beliefs of white southerners about African Americans, the racism, the prejudice of the times all have a part in the storyline of this book.
Trent Mikesell
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Considering that this was written by one of my favorite college professors, I waited way too long to read it. Emmett Till's is a story that has always resonated with me, and I consider him and his mother to be heroes of the Civil Rights movement (and personal heroes as well).

This was an interesting perspective of the events, and it framed it in a new way for me. The main character's struggles felt real, and I like how many of his long-held perceptions were turned on their head.

I can see why th
Suz McDowell
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book, and I am glad I read it. I’m an adult, however. I know that some of the fictionalized events in the book, such as the torturing the fish, and later, Emmett, by R.C. are way too graphic for my 12 year old. She knows what happened to Emmett Till, and would be ok with reading the rest of the book, but reading about the violent activities of the character called R.C. would be too much.
I recommend this book for middle school readers who aren’t overly sensitive.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dani Castro
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anika B
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I actually really liked this book. It was interesting, and I thought it was cool to learn about this case, even though it happened so long ago. I thought most of this was going to be non-fiction, and because I really don't like non-fiction, I expected it to be boring, but I was pleasantly surprised with the characters that it introduced to this story. Though some of the characters were actual people, there were many that weren't. All in all, this was a highly interesting story. I would recommend ...more
Elspeth Rayback
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Don't get me wrong- the whole theme of the book is great but it just wasn't compelling enough of a story for me. I feel like it wasn't engaging for me as a reader. To be honest it felt kind of like a poor knock off of To Kill A Mockingbird. Plus, it was a little too easy of a read for me. Of course my school picked this as the book for the whole school to read so they had to pick something relatively simple. There are some other reasons it bothered me but I can't quite figure out what they are. ...more
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fictional character created to walk beside Emmitt Till makes startling realizations about his own family.
Sisilia Meli
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-420
Told through the lens of Hiram Hillburn, a young white American from Arizona visiting his grandfather in Mississippi, Mississippi Trial, 1955 tells the tale of a boy named Emmett Till who was shown by the people and town racial discrimination and eventually murdered after whistling at an older white woman. Told by Hiram's POV, he tells of the trial, the racism that he notices amongst the townsfolk, including his Grandfather, who he feels played a role in the disappearance of Emmett Till. Readers ...more
whatdoyoucallamajicowl .........................HOOODINI
“Some awful things happened to a Negro kid named Emmett Till, and I was right in the middle of it,smack in the heart of crazy, senseless hatred.”

I chose this quote because it explains this book by what happened with the Jim crow laws down in the south and the hatred for the African-Americans. what they did in the south to the African-Americans was pretty bad in Hiram Hillburn point of view. You have to read to find out.

Mt thinking of the book was that it goes indef. on what happened in the south
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“Some aweful things happened to a Negro kid named Emmett Till, and I was right in the middle of it,smack in the heart of crazy, senseless hatred.” 4 likes
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