Winner Wednesdays: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

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Throwbacks usually happen on Thursday, but this Wednesday’s winner is an oldie but a goodie. This Wednesday, I’m talking about Mildred D. Taylor’s novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. 

Published in 1976 and winner of the 1977 Newbery Medal, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry tells the story of the Logan family in 1933 Mississippi during the Great Depression. Unlike many of the other black families in this area during that time, the Logan family owns their own land. However, this ownership does not stop the family from being subjected to racial injustice.

Cassie, the narrator, protagonist and second oldest Logan child learns about racism in various manners, be it riding the bus to school or hearing about another lynching in the community. Papa, Cassie’s father, sets fire to his own land, hoping to distract the lynch mobs coming for T.J, a friend of Cassie’s oldest brother Stacey. Cassie awakes to see her black and white neighbors working together to fight the fire.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is an excellent book for older children. The book can be read individually or in a classroom settings. The text allows for conversations with parents and teachers about the historical Great Depression, discrimination in the South, family and friendship.

I loved this book; I was Cassie’s age when I got involved in the series and I enjoyed how much I could still relate to her and her family although we were separated by 70 years, and the amount I learned about history. Once you read it, you’ll fall in love with the Logan family, so Mildred Taylor has prequels and sequels to keep you involved! This Wednesday, throw back time with Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. You’ll be surprised about how much you learn and can relate.

 

–Shae Earl

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