Thursday, February 10, 2011
Booktalk: The Well by Mildred D. Taylor [Generosity; 3]
For the sake of this story, I want you to pretend that you live on a farm in the American South. Imagine that your family gets all your water from a well on your land, but the other families around you have wells that are now running dry. You’d share your water, right? Well, of course you would. In this story, The Well, David is a young African American boy who lives in Mississippi in the early 1900s. He and his family own their own land, but because they are black, there are still segregation laws in effect which hurt them, and there’s a lot of racism and discrimination towards African Americans. There’s one family who really hates David and his family: The Simms. Papa has warned David and his brothers to stay out of the way of the Simms, who are really mean and very racist. David’s family has been generously sharing their well water with everyone, but the Simms want to bring them down anyways. At one point, Hammer, David’s brother, hits one of the Simms boys and knocks him out cold. Mr. Simms wants revenge. In spite of their generosity, David’s family is now very vulnerable. Will they lose their hard-won land? The Well by Mildred D. Taylor.
The Well by Mildred D. Taylor. New York: Dial, 1995. 92 p. Booktalk to intermediate grades [3rd-6th], middle school.