The owner of the Mercantile in Strawberry cheats his black customer, Sam Tatum, and when Tatum accuses him of lying, "night men" tar and feather Tatum. When TJ tries to buy goods for his mother at the store, Barnett stops serving him and ignores him for an hour while waiting on white customers. When Cassie politely tries to remind him that they are waiting, he calls her a "little nigger," and throws her out of his store. When the Simms brothers and TJ break into his store, he comes down to investigate and RW hits him over the head with the flat part of an axe. He dies the next morning.
Gr 4–7—Taylor's story about Cassie and her family, set in southern Mississippi during the Great Depression, is one of those rare books that is beloved by educators and children alike. A perennially popular selection for summer reading lists, classroom discussion, and book clubs, it turns 40 this year—and boy does 40 look good on this classic. Sporting a stunning new cover illustration by Kadir Nelson and an introduction by Jacqueline Woodson, this is a beautiful edition that will be embraced by longtime fans and entice a new generation of readers. Penguin plans to release new editions of the other novels in the "Logan Family" series (all to feature cover illustrations by Nelson) as well as reprint Taylor's entire backlist over the next few years.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.