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A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson

A Wreath for Emmett Till (2005)

by Marilyn Nelson

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This book would be best used in a fifth-grade classroom as a read aloud. The content of the book is graphic and it would be best to have discussions along with the book. For the students, I would have them compose their own sonnets about their feelings of the book. Then students would be broken into groups to dissect the sonnets in the book and find the meaning behind them.
  EllieDowns | Apr 4, 2017 |
  dbruscini | Apr 8, 2016 |
Nelson crafted an amazing work of art here with this melancholy, disturbing sonnet. I appreciate that she included educational supplementary materials; a synopsis of the Emmett Till story, commentary on all literary references to which she alludes, commentary on the poem itself, and insight into the writing process. Rich with symbolism, challenging vocabulary, and everything I love about poetry, I hope my more ambitious students will take the time to let Nelson take them where she wants them to go. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
This is a picture book about the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955. The author, Marilyn Nelson, wrote a series of sonnets to honor Till in what she describes as a "heroic crown." This book is the compilation of those sonnets. The sonnets are written in the Petrarchan (Italian) rhyme scheme and they are interlinked in that they last line of one becomes the first line, sometimes slightly altered, of the next. A heroic crown of sonnets is a series of 15 interlinked sonnets where the last one is comprised of the first line of the previous fourteen. The book also includes information about who Emmett Till was and beautiful paintings. Although this is a picture book, I believe it is definitely more suitable for older readers due to both the content, the vocabulary, and the complicated structure. I think this would best be used to support a unit on the Civil Rights Movement in a social studies classroom. This could also be used as an example of the sonnet form in an English classroom.
  bflanagan | Jul 31, 2015 |
The genre of this book is poetry. This book is composed of fourteen sonnets, in which the legacy and issues surrounding the story of Emmett Till are explored. The history behind the lynching, the actual beating, and the injustice is all explored in this book. Emmett's murder that sparked the civil rights movement is described in beautiful words. Nelson uses lots of figurative language and flowers as symbols in her sonnets. I would use this book in 5th through middle school classrooms, as the story is quite brutal, and the language used is more complex. Students could really pick apart this book and dig deeper into it. ( )
  athena.j | Apr 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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For innocence murdered.  For innocence alive.  --M.N.

To Ariane.  --P.L.
First words
Introduction:  I was nine years old when Emmett Till was lynched in 1955.
Rosemary for remembrance, Shakespeare wrote:
a speech of poor Ophelia, who went mad
when her love killed her father.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618397523, Hardcover)

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 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.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

This illustrated poetry collection eulogizes Emmett Till, an African American man who was killed in a brutal, racially motivated lynching in 1955.

» see all 2 descriptions

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