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The Gold Cadillac

The Gold Cadillac
Author: Mildred D. Taylor
ISBN 13: 9780140389630
ISBN 10: 140389636
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Puffin Books
Publication Date: 1998-02-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 64
List Price: $5.99

Lois and Wilma are proud of their father s brand-new gold Cadillac, and excited that the family will be driving it all the way from Ohio to Mississippi. But as they travel deeper into the rural South, there are no admiring glances for the shiny new car only suspicion and anger for the black man behind the wheel. For the first time in their lives, Lois and her sister know what it s like to feel scared because of the color of their skin. A personal, poignant look at a black child s first experience with institutional racism. The New York Times

School Library Journal

Gr 2-3 In this quiet story, `lois explains a child's perspective of her fears when she, her sister Wilma, and their parents drive from Ohio to visit relatives in Mississippi in 1950. When `lois' father buys a new gold Cadillac, his wife refuses to ride in ituntil he declares his intentions to visit his parents in the South. Then the whole family goes, caravan style, for it's ``a mighty dangerous thing, for a black man to drive an expensive car into the rural South.'' `lois and Wilma are disquieted by the increasing appearance of ``white only, colored not allowed'' signs as they drive further south. After white policemen humiliate and arrest their father, they do visit their grandparents, but the trip results in their father giving up the car when they return home, realizing that it was pulling the family apart. Full-page sepia paintings effectively portray the characters, setting, and mood of the story events as Hays ably demonstrates his understanding of the social and emotional environments which existed for blacks during this period. `lois' first-person narrative allows readers to understand the youthful perspective on the dehumanizing intentions of racism. Clear language and logical, dramatic sequencing of story events make this story bittersweet for adult readers but important for the social development of beginning readers. Helen E. Williams, University of Maryland, College Park