Mildred D. Taylor's "Song of the Trees" was published by Dial Books in 1975 and won the Council on Interracial Books for Children Award. Taylor's book uses images created by Jerry Pinkney, sparingly, to illustrate key moments in the story. "Song of the Trees" is part of a series following the Logan family, which are based on stories from Taylor's real-life family.
The Logan Family
"Song of the Trees" continues a tale that spans three generations of the family of Paul-Edward Logan. Paul-Edward's story is told in "The Land." The son of a plantation owner and an African-Indian woman, Paul-Edward settled in Mississippi to purchase a plot of land. Three books later, the point of view changes to Cassie, the heroine in "Song of the Trees" and the great-granddaughter of Paul-Edward. The land that Paul-Edward purchases continues to play a pivotal role in the Logan family series and is the setting for "Song of the Trees."
Cassie Logan - The Heroine
Great-granddaughter of Paul-Edward Logan, Cassie is just 8 years old during the Great Depression and her family struggles to put food on the table. Young Cassie spends a good deal of her time on the Logan family land and more than anything, she loves the trees. Cassie feels a strong connection to the trees, romanticizing their gentle dancing in the breeze and quiet songs they sing just outside her window.
Mr. Andersen - The Villian
Cassie's world goes into disarray when the one thing she looks to for solace is jeopardized: the trees. A businessman named Mr. Andersen wants to profit from the trees and aggressively tries to get the Logan family matriarch, Big Ma, to sell them. Mr. Andersen makes a deal to purchase some of the trees but is greedy and wants them all. He threatens the family and hopes to get away with it since Papa, Cassie's father, is out of town on a job.
At a loss for what to do, Big Ma sends Cassie's sister, Stacey, to retrieve Papa from Louisiana. Stacey and Papa make it back, promptly rigging the perimeter of the family land with explosives. When Mr. Andersen's crew comes to take the trees, Papa threatens to blow up everything and everybody on his land if they try to take away the trees. The move works and the lumberjacks eventually vacate the Logan family land.
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