Mildred D. Taylor

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Mildred D. Taylor
BornMildred DeLois Taylor
(1943-09-13) September 13, 1943 (age 75)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Toledo (1965)[1]
GenreChildren's literature
Notable worksRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Notable awardsNewbery Medal

Mildred DeLois Taylor (born September 13, 1943) is an African-American writer known for her works exploring the struggle faced by African-American families in the Deep South. She received the 1977 Newbery Medal for her novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.


Taylor was born in Jackson, Mississippi, but lived there only a short amount of time, then moved to Toledo, Ohio, where she spent most of her childhood. She now lives in Colorado. Taylor has expressed her views on the Great Depression as an economical crisis, as well as slavery.

Many of her works are based on stories of her family that she heard while growing up. She has stated that these anecdotes became very clear in her mind, and in fact, once she realized that adults talked about the past, "I began to visualize all the family who had once known the land, and I felt as if I knew them, too ..."[2] Taylor has talked about how much history was in the stories; some stories took place during times of slavery and some post-slavery.

Taylor's most famous book is Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1976). In 1977, the book won the Newbery Medal. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is the middle book, chronologically, in the Logans series that also includes titles such as Song of the Trees (1975), Let the Circle Be Unbroken (1981), The Road to Memphis (1992), and The Land (2001).[3] Her collective contributions to children's literature resulted in her being awarded the inaugural NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature in 2003.[4]



Body of Work

Song of the Trees

  • First prize (African-American category), Council on Interracial Books for Children, 1973
  • Outstanding Book of the Year Citation, The New York Times, 1975
  • Jane Addams Honors Citation, 1976

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Let the Circle Be Unbroken

  • Outstanding Book of the Year Citation, The New York Times, 1981
  • Jane Addams Honor Citation, 1982
  • American Book Award nomination, 1982
  • Coretta Scott King Award, 1982

The Friendship

The Gold Cadillac

The Road to Memphis

  • Special Award, Children's Book Council, 1988
  • Coretta Scott King Award, 1990

Mississippi Bridge

  • Christopher Award, 1990

The Well: David's Story

  • Jane Addams Book Award, Jane Addams Peace Council, 1996

The Land

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Mississippi Writers Page: "Mildred D.Taylor" at University of Mississippi
  2. ^ "Acceptance of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for The Friendship". The Horn Book Magazine. March 1989. pp. 179–80.
  3. ^ "Logans series" at Goodreads.
  4. ^ "My life as a writer. (Mildred D. Taylor)". World Literature Today. May 1, 2004. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2014. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. ^ "2003 – Mildred D. Taylor". The Neustadt Prize. Retrieved April 12, 2014.

External links[edit]