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Multicultural Literature for Youth

Author Study: Taylor (2)
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Interesting Facts about Taylor (continued)

Taylor's Family (Link same as previous page).
taylorfamily.jpg
Mother Mildred is in the middle; sister Julia is on the right. Photo by Nancy Jacobs.

  • In the early Seventies, Taylor was offered a job as a reporter for CBS. She turned it down to focus on her writing career.

 

  • Taylor wrote her first book, Song of the Trees in four days. The manuscript was entered in a contest sponsored by the Council on Interracial Books for Children, and it won the African-American category.

 

  • Taylor accepted the Newbery Medal for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry on behalf of her father, who had recently died. She stated that “without his teachings, without his word, my words would not have been” (Gale 2004, 7).

 

  • Two main themes in all of Taylor’s books are family and land. Taylor came from a warm, close extended family. When Taylor won the Newbery Award, her editor said she could invite two people to the acceptance banquet. Taylor talked her into the 30 seats she needed for family members. All 30 family members attended (Crowe 1999, 27).

 

  • Many of Taylor’s characters are based on real family members, past and present. David and Stacey Logan are “patterned” after her father and to some extent, her grandfather (Crowe 1999, 42). Uncle Hammer is based on two of her great-uncles, and  Christopher-John and Little Man Logan are based on two uncles.  Cassie Logan was drawn “from the character of one of her aunts and her sister. Wilma, and to some degree, herself” (Crowe, 36). The children’s mother, Mary Logan, was modeled after Taylor’s grandmother. 

 

  • Taylor’s latest book, The Land (2001), is a prequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It won a Coretta Scott King Author Award. “Taylor has said that she still has a final book to write about the Logans and will be returning to Cassie’s voice to tell the story” (Gale 2005, 7).

 

  • In 2004, Mississippi celebrated a Mildred D. Taylor Day. Taylor returned to her family’s roots to address school children and adults at the University of Mississippi.

 

References

 

Crowe, Chris. 1999. Presenting Mildred D. Taylor. New York: Twayne Pubishers.

 

Gale Literary Databases. 2005. Mildred D(elois) Taylor. Contemporary Authors. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/GLD/hits?r=d&origSearch=true&o=DataTyle&n=10&1=d&c=1&locl.

 

Mildred Taylor Teacher Resource File. 2000. http://falcon.jmu.edu/%7Eramseyil/taylor.htm. Accessed June 7, 2005.

 

The Mississippi Writers and Musicians Project at Starkville High School. 2004.Mildred D. Taylor. http://shs.starkville.k12.ms.us./mswm/MSWritersAndMusicians/writers/MildredDTaylor/Taylor.html.

Accessed June 14, 2005.

 

 

 

 

Link to Taylor's acceptance speech for 1997 ALAN Award

Link to Tayor: Bibliography and awards