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Characters

Cassie Logan Timeline and Summary

  • Cassie hears (from T.J.) about how the Berrys were burned by the night men.
  • Miss Crocker breaks out the hand-me-down textbooks that the white school no longer wants. Cassie takes a stand and tells Miss Crocker exactly what she thinks about this. (Not much.)
  • To thwart the white school bus that plagues their daily walk to school, Cassie helps her brothers sabotage it.
  • That night, Cassie sees the night men arrive at her house. She's worried that they're retaliating because of the bus incident—but they're not.
  • At the Wallace store, Cassie watches Stacey beat up T.J. for making Stacey look like a cheater on Mrs. Logan's test. Ouch.
  • Mr. Morrison teaches Cassie that sometimes you have no choice but to fight, but you have to pick your battles wisely.
  • Cassie finds out that Mr. Granger is scheming to get the family's land.
  • As punishment for visiting the Wallace store, Mama makes Cassie and her brothers visit the Berrys. Samuel Berry is burned almost beyond recognition. Lesson: It's dangerous to hang out at the Wallace store.
  • Cassie listens to her mother plan the boycott against the Wallaces.
  • For the first time, Cassie gets to go to the farmer's market in Strawberry.
  • It's not a good trip: she faces first-hand racism for the first time.
  • At the end of this trip, Cassie is made to apologize to Lillian Jean Simms for bumping into her in the street.
  • Cassie learns a major hard-knock lesson from this humiliating experience: some people see you as no more than your skin color.
  • Cassie starts being suspiciously nice to Lillian Jean.
  • Papa tries to teach Cassie a lesson about respect, but Cassie concocts and elaborate revenge plan—which works. She gets back at Lillian Jean.
  • Cassie witnesses her mother being fired from her teaching job for organizing the boycott.
  • After finding out that T.J. played a part in this, Cassie and her brothers give him the silent treatment.
  • Cassie is worried when her father shows up at home, shot (but not fatally).
  • She later hears that T.J. is now hanging out with (white) R.W. and Melvin Simms, and that they treat him badly.
  • When he shows up at their house badly beaten after his fateful trip to the Barnett Mercantile with the Simms brothers, she helps him.
  • She sees the Wallaces and Simms drag the Averys out of their house, and talk about hanging T.J.
  • From her home, Cassie sees the woods burning.
  • She learns that Papa started the fire, and that it prevented the men from hanging T.J.
  • This news is not all good, though. Mr. Barnett has died, and Cassie realizes that T.J. will be punished harshly (he may even be hanged) for his involvement in the robbing.
  • She cries for T.J. and for her family's land.
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