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Lay that Trumpet in Our Hands by Susan Carol…
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Lay that Trumpet in Our Hands (2002)

by Susan Carol McCarthy

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It's a shame that this book was so poorly promoted when it was released. It is a wonderful story of race and injustice in the south, with touches of actual historical events that lend a realistic feel to the story. It puts me in mind of the classic, To Kill A Mockingbird. ( )
  icedream | May 16, 2013 |
This was a very touching story of a family that become intangled with the KKK in Florida in the 1950's. This is a story that will make you mad and scared and victorious all at the same time. You feel the grip of evil, and the hand of friends banning together. Everyone needs to have a book like this to refer back to when we may feel a little lost. It is proof that even now, a bully will never win. ( )
  angela.vaughn | Oct 19, 2010 |
Lay That Trumpet In our Hands is a novel inspired by real events that took place in Florida in 1951. The story follows a northern family living in a southern community surrounded by racism and violence.

This would be a good book for a High School English literature class because it discusses many themes and different perspectives. It also examines different litercies by encompassing both northern and southern dialects, values, and histories.
  garrasir | Sep 27, 2010 |
Wonderful book. This was a book club choice for our group and we all really enjoyed it and it prompted good conversation. I would love to read her other book, True Fires. This book has some of the same feeling as To Kill a Mockingbird. The characters of Reesa, Vaylie, Luther, Marvin are all very likeable. You don't get to know the Klan characters very much but you don't need to to know you dislike them. It was interesting too look up the real cases after reading this book to get more info. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Apr 11, 2009 |
In 1951, twelve-year-old Reesa McMahon's safe world is shattered by the murder of her 19-year-old black friend Marvin. Reesa's Yankee family has never "belonged" in Mayflower, Florida's segregated society, but they never planned on helping the Negroes fight for their civil rights either. Based upon actural events which took place in central Florida in 1951 and 1952, Reesa's faith is tested during a turbulent year of Klan activity, unsolved murders, and blatant racial prejudice and injustice. Truth, however, will prevail in this novel reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird. ( )
  milibrarian | Nov 30, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Dedication
For Dad, Mother, and Gam. And for all those whose time in the fire was Florida in the early 50's.
First words
Luther's on the back porch knocking on the door.
Quotations
"With the Klans attack on two white boys, the rules have abruptly changed; their evil is no limited to Negroes, Jews, and Catholics. The Klan's crossed it's own hate line." pg 195

"If you're not lucky, if you have the unfortunate luck of living directly in its path, the center of the storm, the eye, engulfs you in terrifying silence. You wait, and watchk and wonder when it will pass, when the crack of old trees, and the rain, and the winds, and the barrels of water will return, all over again.....Mrs. Moore's death is the first sign that this hurricane's overquiet eye has passed. A flurry of increasingly loud events follow....Florida Crackers bearing the badges of Mr. Hoover's F.B.I....it's lear the other side of this hurricane has begun to blow. chapter 23.

"There's a bit of rattler in all of us. But as far as I've seen, human snakes are a whole lot meaner than the reptile kind." pg 128

"...the Klan was nothing to be afraid of, just a bunch of good ole boys playing boogey-man." pg 14

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Book description
One orange-blossom-scented night in 1951, Reesa McMahon woke to find her world shattered by violence and hatred. Her friend and mentor, nineteen-year-old Marvin Culley, had been brutally murdered by the local Klan. The killing of this innocent black man, who worked in the McMahon's orange grove, will forever change Reesa's life and the life of everyone in the genteel town of Mayflower, Florida, pitting neighbor against neighbor in a conflict that would ultimately divide a nation.

Against this backdrop, Reesa draws strength from her indomitable grandmother "Doto," who drove hell-bent down from Chicago in her new blue DeSoto...Warren, her slow-to-anger Yankee father, who never quite fit in to the closed society of Good 'Ol Boy citrus growers...Miss Maybelle Mason, the elderly postmistress, who knew a rattlesnake when she saw one-and the bitr of heartbreak as well-and Luther and Armetta and the black community of Mayflower. Through Reesa's painful search for meaning, we experience the unforgettable rites of passage of a young girl's and of a small town's shattering confrontation with racial prejudice, injustice, and-ultimately-truth.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553381032, Paperback)

In the turbulent spring of 1951, central Florida became notoriously linked to a vicious series of Ku Klux Klan activities. The racial, religious, and political mix that populated Reesa McMahon's childhood hometown of Mayflower that same year was, as her Northern-born father remarked, "the social equivalent of a Molotov cocktail." The upheaval her family experiences in the coming-of-age novel Lay That Trumpet in Our Hands by Susan Carol McCarthy--which is based on actual events from her own life--abruptly ends Reesa's girlish sense of security. When her friend Marvin Cully, a black orange-picker who works for her father, is killed by the local Opalakee Klan, she realizes how much her liberal family stands out in opposition to the men with white sheets and guns who, unmasked, served as the pillars of the local community. While making sense of Marvin's death and slowly realizing the extent to which her fellow townsfolk brandish their racist attitudes, Reesa watches her own house become the unofficial center of the resistance. The author notes her arguably sensible reasons for fictionalizing her accounts, but the resulting story doesn't move beyond the confines of a young girl's mind. --Emily Russin

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:34 -0400)

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In 1951, the brutal murder of nineteen-year-old Marvin Cully transforms the town of Mayflower, Florida, into a battleground as violence erupts across the state and the NAACP joins in the efforts to uncover the killers.

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