Critical Context (Masterplots II: African American Literature)
When it first appeared in 1981, Let the Circle Be Unbroken found a receptive audience and an established literary tradition. Mildred D. Taylor’s first book portraying the Logan family, Song of the Trees (1975), was awarded the Council on Interracial Books Award in the African American literature category and hailed as the outstanding book of the year by The New York Times. Her second novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, won the Newbery Medal and laid the critical foundation for Let the Circle Be Unbroken. Together, they received the Coretta Scott King Award in 1982 as an authentic interpretation of aspects of the African American experience during the Depression. Let the Circle Be Unbroken received a positive review in The Times of London, in 1982, and by 1989 had already gone through its ninth printing, having fetched good ratings from The Horn Book Magazine, Publishers Weekly, The Christian Science Monitor, and other distinguished publications. Having published also The Golden Cadillac (1987), Taylor has established herself as a prolific writer and an engaging interpreter of twentieth century African American history.