Read A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson Philippe Lardy Online


In 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The brutality of his murder, the open-casket funeral, and the acquittal of the men tried for the crime drew wide media attention.Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose faIn 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The brutality of his murder, the open-casket funeral, and the acquittal of the men tried for the crime drew wide media attention.Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement. This martyr’s wreath, woven from a little-known but sophisticated form of poetry, challenges us to speak out against modern-day injustices, to “speak what we see.”...

Title : A Wreath for Emmett Till
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780618397525
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 48 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Wreath for Emmett Till Reviews

  • Ij
    2018-12-06 00:56

    A Wreath For Emmett TillAuthor: Marilyn Nelson, Illustrated by Philippe LardyPublished By: Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston 2005While you will find this book listed in genres as a children’s picture book I think it is most appropriate for high school.Nelson has written an Italian sonnet for Emmett Till. I liked that Nelson explains what an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet is and how she came to write it, before she presents the sonnet. The title also refers that this is a wreath of sonnets which is fourteen (14) sonnets where the last sentence of the sonnet and the first sentence of the next sonnet are the same or very close. While Nelson has presented fifteen (15) sonnets the last is just a compilation of the first sentence of the fourteen (14) sonnets.The author explains who Emmett Till was at the end of the book. Emmett was a fourteen (14) years old black youth, who in 1955, while visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi was murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Murdering blacks in the south was not so unusual, at that time, nor was the acquittal of the white men who allegedly killed him, by an all-white male jury. What was unusual was that Emmett’s mother Mamie Till Mobley wanted the body of her son shown in an open casket at his funeral. She wanted the world to see what was done to her son, whose bloated body was found in the Tallahatchie River badly beaten and shot in the head. Photos of the body in the open casket were printed and broadcasted around the world. The illustrator did a nice job on the cover. He explains his paintings at the end of the book. This book provided information about sonnets along with American history. I recommend this book for high school youths.

  • Erin Ramai
    2018-11-29 20:36

    This book is recommended for grades 9 and up because the subject matter is very emotionally difficult. Nothing I say here will do justice to this book, except to say: you simply have to read it. If you don't know the story of Emmett Till, you may want to read about him first and read A Wreath for Emmett Till after because the poetry will have a more dramatic impact. This book received both a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award and a Printz Honor Award for excellence in young adult literature, both in 2006. Both awards are well deserved.In A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson, the story of the brutal attack of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till is chronicled through a crown of sonnets: a series of poems where the last line of the previous poem becomes the first line of the next and the fifteenth poem is comprised of the fourteen previous poems' first lines. Told from various perspectives including that of a tree, the poems are skillfully and painstakingly written. They also include allusions to literature and history, which may be difficult for some readers to understand; however, the end notes provide a detailed explanation. Everything in this book is purposeful and both the author and illustrator explain their processes in a very personal and meaningful way in the introduction and artist's note. This book makes the suffering of lynched African Americans a real and chilling experience for the reader. To me, the book carries an eerie feeling of death throughout its pages, but as the author reminds us frequently--we must remember Emmett Till--if we forget the atrocities of human existence, we can never transcend. To evaluate this text against Coretta Scott King Award criteria almost seems wrong. Nelson’s writing process, which she describes saying, “I wrote this poem with my heart in my mouth and tears in my eyes, breathless with anticipation and surprise”, is also experienced by the reader. Thus, using award criteria to evaluate such an emotional experience for both writer and reader feels cold and objective. Yet, Nelson's work encompasses what it means to be award-worthy, so I'll attempt to do it justice.This text has a clear plot, which is developed through the sonnets, and accurately details the events surrounding the death of Emmett Till. The “characters” and narrators, while not the traditional type, grow and develop during the course of poems’ story. The writing style, as mentioned earlier, may be slightly difficult for the intended audience, but the difficulty with which the poems are read will mirror the difficulty with which they were written. Without being overtly didactic, this text will motivate readers to share Emmett Till’s story, breed tolerance and acceptance of diversity, and hopefully deter future generations from committing such hateful and horrific acts. It meets the award criteria on all accounts.

  • Adira
    2018-11-30 17:55

    I enjoyed the pictures and imagery that Nelson and Lardy put into writing this poem for Emmett Till. The visual pictures that Lardy painted worked nicely with the words that Nelson wrote to commemorate this fallen hero of African-American history. My only problem came from reading the poem in e-book form. Since I got this from the library for my Kindle, this was my only option and it posed a problem in terms of the pages getting jumbled and the pictures being scattered haphazardly nowhere near where they were meant to be. However, this can't be blamed on Nelson and Lardy. I'd definitely recommend this book for those who want a read that is short and poignant. The notes by the author and book's illustrator in the back where also a really nice touch. These notes offered readers a better understanding of some of the literary allusions and mechanisms that Nelson used and the inspiration behind Lardy's ideas for what he chose to paint.

  • Laura Rumohr
    2018-11-11 19:35

    Summary-A Wreath for Emmett Till is a picture book intended for older readers. This book contains 15 interlinked sonnets about Emmett Till and the painful subject of his lynching. Each sonnet in the book represents a different emotion or aspect of this difficult part of history. The author, Marilyn Nelson, uses a crown of sonnets to write her poems (the last line of one of the sonnets becomes the first line of the next, the final sonnet contains 1 line from each of the preceding 14 poems).Emmett Till was lynched in 1955 when he was just 14 years old after supposedly whistling at a white woman. After his brutal death, a jury declared the murderer not guilty. This drew many people's attention, black and white, to the case. This conclusion to the case helped spur on the civil rights movement. Many years later one of the murderers came forward and admitted to the crime, the murderers were then tried again and found guilty.This book also contains a forward written by the author about how she came to write the poem, history about Emmett Till, and sonnet notes. These "extras" helped me better understand the book and the tragedy of Emmett Till's death.Response-A Wreath for Emmett Till is an interesting and creative way to share the emotions and history behind such a tragic event. By presenting the content in poem form, the reader is able to get through it and manage it. The rigidity to the crown of sonnets provides a nice rhythm and form to the book. The illustrations, which were painted in bright colors, enhance each poem as they are somewhat abstract. It is important to take time as your read to interpret and analyze them.The forward and history about Emmett Till helped me better understand this historical event and why the author chose to write about this topic.I comment Marilyn Nelson for writing about this difficulty topic, because I think many authors would shy away from it. She handled it with ease and fluidity.I would recommend this to any high school and beyond student who is looking to better understand the Civil Rights Movement, racism, justice, and African American history.

  • Crystal Bandel
    2018-12-05 19:27

    A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Philippe Lardy, published 2005.Nonfiction, poetry.Picture book.Grades 9-12.Found via School Library Journal, reviewed by Cris Riedel.Emmett Till was a boy who was brutally killed for supposedly whistling at a white woman in 1955; following his death, his mother held an open-casket funeral to show others the suffering her son had experienced, giving support to the growing Civil Rights movement. In A Wreath for Emmett Till, Nelson memorializes Emmett, the incident, and its aftereffects in a heroic crown of sonnets in the Petrarchan style. This is a complicated poetic form, with lines repeated between sonnets and the opening lines of each sonnet creating the final sonnet, and Nelson uses the form masterfully to convey her point. The language is formal and dense, as is expected with such a complex poetic form, but the text offers support for readers, including extensive notes about each sonnet and information about the form and Emmett Till overall. The illustrations further enhance the reading experience, using simple and abstract images that are charged with color to highlight motifs from the sonnet sequence, and the artist helpfully provides his own notes, as well. Reviewer Riedel agrees with the importance of the notes to the book, noting that "This underpinning information makes this a full experience, eminently teachable from several aspects, including historical and literary." This book would work best in a classroom where students can ask for a teacher's help with the complicated language and themes, but the nature of the book's main event makes A Wreath for Emmett Till a good choice for a cross-curricular book.

  • Prudence H
    2018-11-26 20:53

    I read the historical fiction/poetry book A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson. I think this book was really good but it is a bit more challenging of a reading level and it uses some larger vocabulary, for instance when it said "the blasphemies pronounced to justify profane, obscene theft of human lives". This book takes place in 1955 after the lynching of Emmett Till, and the main conflict is simply death. Everyone dies eventually, but for Emmett Till great injustice came along with his death. He was a young black man, only 14 years old when he died because 5 white men made a false claim that he whistled at a white woman while walking on the street. The story as a whole was mainly the same topic but each individual poem had smaller sections and details. Also the story's only main character is the narrator. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to take on a nice challenge.

  • Linda Lipko
    2018-11-24 21:37

    This Printz honor award and Coretta Scott King award winning book is a powerful poem telling the story of Emmett Till.At times the message punches and then, the author uses flowers as a softer medium to tell the story of young Emmett Till who died at the age of 14 at the hands of bigoted white men.A stutterer, Emmett's mother told him to whistle when he was stuttering or nervous. This whistle was perceived as a black man whistling at a white woman.1955 was a time of severe racial tension. When Emmett's mutilated body was found, his mother insisted there be an open casket so the world could see just what bigotry does!Lynched, beaten beyond recognition, his swollen body, found in a river, showed a cotton gin fan with barbed wire strung around his neck. When those who were guilty of Emmett's murder were acquitted, in outrage as images of the brutality were shown, and the smirking faces of the two men who were on trial seemed carefree and emotionless regarding the brutality of a young life full of promise beaten beyond recognition, many believe this ushered in the Civil Rights movement.REVIEW NUMBER TWO:This is a re-read for me. Because I own so many books, and have the habit of going to the library to check out more than I can read in the allotted time, I don't usually read a book more than once. But, because I first read this prior to immersing myself in learning about the Civil Rights movement, I wanted to get clearer insights regarding one of the major events that sparked and propelled Civil Rights forward.His father was killed in the service because of an accusation of making advances, perhaps raping a white woman. How strangely tragic it was that things came full circle for poor Emmett Till. Emmett Till was what some would say "a mommy's baby." He did not know his father, but had step fathers, some who were important in his life. But, after the relationships faded, Emmett and his mother were dependent on each other.Close to his mother and family, he was an attractive, over weight, fun loving prankster of a boy. Some noted that while he could be shy, he also loved to be the center of attention. At times, his dare devil attitude and behavior resulted in trouble. Terribly, when at 14 he visited Money, Mississippi, his behavior resulted in death.A wonderful poet, the author cleverly, expertly uses sophisticated poetry to express the sadness, and horror that resulted when Emmett and cousins defied Uncle Moses rules and, unknown to his Uncle, visited Bryant's store.As the end of one poem becomes the beginning of the next, Marilyn Nelson uses the significance and meaning of various flowers, including Rosemary for remembrance, and rue, yew and cypress for grief.No one knows for sure what happened on August 28, 1955. Did the fun loving jokester from Chicago suburbs forget that he was thick in the delta of bigotry. Did he, as Bryant's wife reported, make illicit comments to her, touching her hand while smiling and collecting his change from a bubble gum purchase? What is know is that four days later, at approximately 2:30 a.m. Roy Bryant, Carolyn's husband, and his half brother J.W. Milam kidnapped Till from Emmett's Uncle Moses Wright's home.The dramatic poetic form of the beating beyond recognition and the shot gun hole left in his head, renders this imagery difficult to absorb.Read this and weep for a boy too soon gone. Cry for the ugly hatred and bigotry in a culture that could not abide by any one whom they thought did not know their place. Five Stars

  • Mrs. Van
    2018-11-21 19:46

    Marrilyn Nelson's A Wreath for Emmett Till is a winner of a Coretta Scott King Honor Award as well as the Michael Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. Philippe Lardy's illustrations add much to this text, however, I had to completely focus on the text the first two times I read it.The text is written as a heroic crown of sonnets. Fortunately this form is thoroughly described by the author before the poem begins. Sonnets are rhyming poems of fourteen lines written in iambic pentameter. With this form, I was familiar. The heroic crown form was both new and fascinating. In a crown of sonnets, the last line of one sonnet becomes the first line of the next sonnet. In a heroic crown of sonnets, there are 14 sonnets and then a 15th that is made up of one line from each of the previous 14 sonnets. In this case, the first letter of each line from the 14 sonnets spells out RIP EMMETT TILL. Amazing.To further help the reader, sonnet notes as well as some of the history involved are included after the sonnets. Nelson really pushes the reader. There are biblical, historical, and Shakespearean references as well as challenging vocabulary. Symbolism of plants also plays an important role in this wreath of memories. Every line begs to be read over and over until it makes sense yet in the end, the events described are beyond making sense. Due to the topic and the complex structure, I would use this text in middle school or above. Part of one sonnet states "The lynchers feared the lynchee, what he might do, being of another race..." This line in particular, would make this text an asset in on a unit on race relations. This fear has played out in other ways in American history including our treatment of Native Americans and the placement of the Japanese in internment camps. It is a heavy topic, but one that is often over-looked in history books.The 15th sonnet begins:"R osemary for remembrance, Shakespeare wrote, I f I could forget, believe me, I would. P ierced by the screams of a shortened childhood"This poem will cause your heart to ache not only for Emmett and his mother but also for our country.

  • Michelle Pegram
    2018-11-30 00:35

    This moving work of 14 connected Petrarchan sonnets creates a picture of what has come to be seen as a national loss and shame - the death of 14 year old Emmett Till. Matched with the sometimes disturbing, sometimes beautiful illustrations of Philippe Lardy, Marilyn Nelson's poems take the reader on a journey of fear, grief, anger and shame that will not soon be forgotten. As moving as the content of her sonnets is, their connected nature and the structure of the book is impressive. Each sonnet begins with a version of the last line of the preceding sonnet and the final sonnet is built with the first line of each previous sonnet. The reason that I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is that it is packaged to look like a children's book, which I think is a misrepresentation. The subject matter and the word choice would indicate that this book would be best used with older students - I would say 8th grade and up. This is a troubling piece of our country's history and Nelson does not back away from the disturbing, heartbreaking, or graphic details. Younger children would likely not understand much of the language or be able to truly take in the content.This book could be used both as a supplement to a social studies curriculum and as a mentor text for teaching Petrarchan sonnets. I think it would be an interesting exercise to have a class write their own connected sonnets on a topic of their choice.

  • Sara
    2018-11-22 00:38

    Summary: A Wreath for Emmett Till is a picture book intended for older readers - students in middle school or high school. A Wreath for Emmett Till is made up of a collection of 15 sonnets. The author uses a form of repetition (each poem starts with the last line of the previous poem and the 15th poem is a list of all the last lines) that links these sonnets together into what is known as a heroic crown of sonnets. This heroic crown of sonnets is Marilyn Nelson's tribute to a young boy named Emmett Till, whose brutal lynching was one of the events that inspired the civil rights movements of the 1960's. Emmett Till was murdered because he allegedly whistled at a white woman- something that was unacceptable in the severely segregated south. For this, Emmett was taken from his home and was found dead three days later. As with many of the lynchings that occurred during this time period, the men who committed the crime were found "not guilty" by a segregated court.The poems within this book not only address what happened to Emmett but they also allude to the impact his death had on America, the author's own reactions to the crime, parallels between this hate crime and other atrocities from history, as well as many other images. The illustrations are beautiful and bring a whole new dimension to the text. The book is also complete with forward by the author as well as authors notes, by sonnet and a note from the illustrator. This helped my understanding of the book.

  • Cara Byrne
    2018-12-08 19:27

    "Mutilated boy martyr. If I could/Erase the memory of Emmett's victimhood, The memory of monsters..."This is a poignant, emotionally-wrought, moving book commemorates and honors the life of Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old boy who was beaten, shot and thrown in a river in 1955 by white men who believed that he had whistled at a white woman. Though it is a "picture book," Philippe Lardy's dark sketches are complimentary to Marilyn Nelson's haunting sonnets, but they do not attempt to tell a plot-driven story. Instead, the poetry wanders through Nelson's reflections upon Emmett and the society that facilitated his brutal murder and the reprehensible murders of so many others. Lardy's illustration at the center of the book of Emmett peering through a tangled web of thorns, chains and barbed wire with black crows watching is one of the most stunning pictures. Emmett's direct look pierces the reader and makes it difficult to place distance between her/himself and this murdered teen's gaze.

  • June
    2018-11-20 17:36

    A tough book depicting the horror and racism of Emmett Till's death. For the difficulty of writing the book see the author's "How I came to write this book." For the importance of Emmett Till to the civil rights movement read "Who was Emmett Till?" The sonnet notes give explanations, and literary, song references. In the notes of Sonnet V it gives a graphic description of Emmett's body. An artist's note also gives insight into her imagery.I agree with the book flaps description - "profound and chilling."

  • Kris
    2018-11-22 23:43

    Brilliant. A heroic crown of sonnets (which the author thankfully defines in the introduction) that is masterfully crafted. Lyrical and unforced, I am stunned at her ability to use this structured form to so seamlessly create a beautiful, emotional tribute to Emmett Till. I read it, and then read the author's notes on each one, and reread it. The art is perfect and matches the text flawlessly. The notes of the artist were also a wonderful addition. Skillful and profound.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-17 16:46

    Horribly good.

  • Kris
    2018-11-11 17:35

    Kristen SavaNelson, M. (2005). A wreath for Emmett Till (P. Lardy, Illustrator). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Genre: PoetryAwards: Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature (honor); Coretta Scott King Award; School Library Journal Best book of the year 2005; ALA Best Books for Children; nominated for several state reading awards in 2006 and 2007Format: Print (Hardback)Selection Process: Bowker Books in Print, Follett, YALSA Teen Book FinderReview:A Wreath for Emmett Till is a moving heroic crown of sonnets about slain fourteen year old Emmett Till. Not only does Marilyn Nelson write with an ear to young adults today, but she does so in a way that will take one to the next level in emotion and inspiration. Nelson creates a collection of poems that flow with the use of heroic crow of sonnets so that each first line will lead the reader to the last sonnet where each starting line of each poem coalesces into the final poem for Emmett Till. Illustrator Philippe Lardy also brilliantly adds simple yet complex paintings for each poem. An artist's note is included which gives an understanding of each picture. Readers will revel in multiple readings as they learn more about the meanings behind the words and pictures in these sonnets. Students will be using the author notes, sonnet notes, artist notes and references as engaging tools to gain more depth to the poems and to stretch their understanding of such an important event in our nation’s history. More importantly perhaps is how the author makes it less of an event and more human which will engage young adult readers who want to relate to Emmett Till the person, not Emmett Till the event.

  • Donna
    2018-11-24 21:45

    A Wreath For Emmett Till is written as a sonnet. Marilyn Nelson told this story in her own words "with my heart in my mouth and tears in my eyes. The poems tell the story of Emmett Till and his brutal murder in Mississippi. He was accused of whistling at a white woman, which in those days was a huge crime. Five men chased him, beat him, chained him and threw his body in the Tallahatchie River. For many years this case stood at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. His mother spent the rest of her days seeking justice and vowing to not let the world forget what was done to her only child. Besides the story that this book tells, the poetry shows us how lovely a sonnet can be. Sonnets allow us to put our words on paper not mattering whether they rhime. The quest is to express ourselves as eloquently as we can. Marilyn did that in this book. The illustrations were done by Phillippe Laardy. They were colorful and simple. Most illustrations were only one item that was referred to in the accompaning sonnet. I remember this tragedy so well and like Marilyn, I was moved to tears while reading it. This book could be used to introduce students to the history surrounding Emmett Till and also to a different kind of poetry -sonnets. The sonnet notes at the end of the book explain in juvenile terms, what each sonnet was striving to say. This is good because some students might not understand some of the commentary. A must have in every classroom library.

  • Rachel Grover
    2018-12-03 16:53

    This book was absolutely incredible. I read this as one of my multi-cultural books and realized it was also a Printz award. Basically, the entire book is a series of poems (sonnets?) about what happened to Emmett Till in Mississippi. I appreciated that the content was raw and powerful; while thought-provoking, there wasn't anything graphic. My favorite part of this book was how the last line of the poem became the first line of the next poem, and then all the first lines of the poem were compiled in order to create the last poem. Powerful stuff. I would pair this with a nonfiction selection about what happened to Emmett Till or Mississippi Trial, 1955, which is the fictional story of Till. I liked this book as a multicultural book because it shows the effects of segregation and the lack of civil rights. As I tell my students, it personalizes history, so instead of discussing a major event, it discusses the impact the major event had on people living in that time period. I was absolutely in love with this book

  • Ch_beth Rice
    2018-11-15 18:33

    A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson takes readers into the emotions people felt when young Emmett Till was murder for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi in the 1950’s. Nelson writes the story as a heroic crown of sonnets, and she begins the book with a description of this form. Readers definitely need to bring background knowledge of the story of Emmett Till to this book as it does not clearly tell readers what happened. The author does include a summary of the events and more information at the end of the book as well as sonnet notes. Both these additions help clarify to readers what they have just read and perhaps a second reading with these notes in mind will make the poem more meaningful. The illustrations by Philippe Lardy beautifully add to the emotion of the author’s words. This book would be appropriate for readers in upper grades through high school and would provoke deep discussions. But I would recommend several readings of the poem to clearly understand its message.

  • Rachel
    2018-11-19 22:41

    A Wreath for Emmett Till is powerful series of poems about the death of Emmett Till. It follows the structure of a heroic crown of sonnets, "a sequence of fifteen interlinked sonnets, in which the last one is made up of the first lines of the preceding fourteen," as it states in the introduction to the book. The sonnets contain powerful diction and imagery emphasizing the tragedy and injustice of Emmett Till's death. In addition to the historical context of the story, the sonnets provide a variety of literary techniques that are masterfully done and would be useful for students to analyze. You might discuss the sonnet structure, the use of enjambment or literary devices such as imagery and figurative language. This technical discussion in combination with the engaging subject matter, would make this an enjoyable lesson for my students. I also appreciated the background information provided on Emmett Till and the intent of the poem found at the back of the book.

  • Maddy
    2018-12-04 21:49

    NOVEL IN VERSEHonestly, I picked this one because it is short. However, I was really surprised at how powerful the feeling could be in a 20 page book! At a young age, the author was significantly affected by the story of the lynching of teenage Emmett Till and knew for a long time that he would write about it. He creates beautiful sonnets about this crushing blow to humanity. His form is wonderful and his images are powerful. I would love to have this read in a US History class during a unit about civil rights--it's enough to get anyone fired up. At first because of the length and poetry I assumed this novella would be targeted towards a younger audience, but the farther I read into it I realized it was definitely a high school read. Some of the images are disturbing--important, but disturbing and probably not for young minds.Really beautiful. Highly recommend it.

  • Anne
    2018-11-16 18:36

    Anne Zemba PoetryA Wreath for Emmett Till is about the 1955 lynching of an African American boy who went to visit family in Mississippi. Emmett was accused of whistling at a white woman. This simple act cost him his life. Even thought this event took place nearly 60 years ago, young people today can still relate to bullying and hate crimes.A Wreath for Emmett Till is written to be read in its entirety. It is made up of fourteen sonnets and the fifteenth sonnet is made up of the first lines of the first fourteen. The first letter of each sonnet on the final page spells RIP EMMETT L TILL. It is a Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature Award honor book. I enjoyed the layout of the book. Since all the poems made up a story, I found it interesting and easy to read. The artwork complimented the poems rather nicely.

  • Madonnasharma
    2018-12-08 19:56

    I was familiar with the terrible details of Emmett Till’s death and the effect this had on the Civil Rights movement. What I didn’t know was this challenging poem pattern that Nelson chose for her expression of the pain she felt for Emmett Till and his mother. The crown of sonnets that she links to share her emotions are very moving and sad. Nelson explained best when she said, “I wrote this poem with my heart in my mouth and tears in my eyes, breathless with anticipation and surprise.” Not only does the reader follow the flow of this tragedy from ending line to beginning line, but the illustrations in color, pattern and objects flow from sonnet to sonnet. My favorite illustration was the last and of course the last sonnet is the anticipation and surprise of what was created as Nelson created her crown of sonnets as a wreath for a 14 year old child.

  • Wendy
    2018-11-12 19:47

    I've been wanting to read this for awhile, and found it disappointing. I also picked up a copy of a cycle of poems about an author's cat and was much more moved by that book than this one. Given the topics, I realized that either there's something wrong with me, or with this book. In her foreward, Nelson writes "the strict form became a kind of insulation, a way of protecting myself from the intense pain of the subject matter." I think she overdid it, and replaced feeling with formality for the reader as well. The only two sonnets that made me feel the pain of this horrible story were the one written in the voice of the tree he was hanged from and the one that concentrates on his mother. The ones that are purely in the poet's voice are distant and intellectual.

  • L11_Nick Mamula
    2018-12-01 21:48

    Powerful. Nelson does an amazing job of bringing to light one of the most horrific events in American history. Before reading the book I was apprehensive as to how well Nelson could encapsulate the emotion and moral injustice that the story provokes. However, the combination of illustrations and gripping poetry is proof that Nelson knew what he was doing. This book can act as the perfect supplementary tool to a teacher trying to teach this event. Only because of the original story is so graphic, I would only recommend this book for high school students. Even though younger students could enjoy the writing and pictures, I fear that they would not be able to understand the significance of the story.

  • Bonnie
    2018-11-30 16:27

    This book is written in sonnet form about a 14-year old African American boy from Chicago who traveled to the South to visit relatives.He was taken from his uncle's home by two white men. His body was found three days later. The murderers had tied a heavy metal cotton gin fan to his neck with barbed wire and thrown him into the Tallahatchie River. He had been shot in the head. His face and body had been beaten and were bloated from the river water.His mother held an open-casket funeral for the nation to see what had been done to her son. An all-white jury heard the trial, and after deliberating for just over an hour, came back with a verdict of not guilty.May we always remember to never forget the ugliness of racism.

  • Ch_beverlyatwood
    2018-12-05 22:46

    This is an outstanding book, especially in this form of Petrarchan sonnet poetry. I appreciated that the author explained this form at the very beginning of the book and that helped me to understand the form and appreciate the creative, thought-provoking text of the poems. The heroic form of the sonnets, with the final poem consisting of the first lines of the other fourteen poems completes the circular pattern to the sonnet collection. The form is reflective of the tribute to Emmett Till who died well before his time at the hands of murderers. I would use the book when studying civil rights, martyrdom, & poetry form.

  • Cathy Blackler
    2018-11-15 23:26

    Marilyn Nelson has packed a powerful tale in a tiny package. A Wreath for Emmett Till is a book of poetry about lynching. Nelson's attention to detail is apparent from the onset; detail not only about Emmett Till and his place in history, but literary detail as well. The book is written as a Heroic Crown of Sonnets-fascinating stuff, look it up. I've been challenged by a friend to use this book throughout an entire semester-I will definitely give it a go, as so many literary layers make it a wonderful addition to any classroom library and a worthy teaching tool with powerfully important subject matter A Not-to-miss.

  • Anna Smithberger
    2018-11-27 21:45

    This was very good and very sad. I'd only encountered a crown of sonnets once before, so it was lovely to read a poem in this form, and it is so well done (at least imho as someone with very little interest or understanding of the art of poetry).I must say, this is not what I was expecting upon learning this was a picture book. I knew the Emmett Till story before this title was assigned for my Social Justice class, but I hadn't thought the event would be explored in so poetic a manner. Very good, but sad.

  • Mackenzie
    2018-12-02 20:51

    I wish this book wasn't in the juvenile section of the library thrust in with all the other picture books. This women wrote fifteen sonnets and was able to tie them up into a beautiful poetic wreath for the dedication of Emmett Till. I was touched by the artwork and the literacy, but I wish this book was placed in a spot where readers will understand and enjoy this beautiful tribute.

  • Gemi Renske
    2018-11-15 23:38

    For such a delicate and compelling topic, there was surprisingly little emotion in the writing. It felt too technical/clinical. The illustrations are good, and there are interesting tidbits of info in the story. I learn Emmett Till whistles because he stutters, etc. I'm just disappointed with the author's choice of diction.