Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

Other authorsJerry Pickney (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1991

Status

Available

Local notes

PB Tay

Publication

Puffin Books (1991), 276 pages

Description

A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.

Language

Original publication date

1976

ISBN

0673583325 / 9780673583321

Barcode

1709

Media reviews

librarything.com
Roll of thunder hear my cry This book is about a family that lived in Mississippi. They owned a lot of land. There were the Wallace’s who were mean white people. There family was big. Papa sent Mr. Morrison to watch all of his family. There was a guy named T.J who took the wrong side of the road. And was blamed for stealing a gun. Papa went down to the land and set a fire so that T.J would not get hurt anymore. In the end, everything turned out great and it did not have to end in violence. We read this book in my 7th grade LA class. I enjoyed reading it. My favorite part was when Papa set a distraction to make them stop hitting T.J... I loved this book. Everybody should read this. The only part I did not like was when they cursed at the African Americans. I encourage all readers to read this book.

User reviews

LibraryThing member AMQS
What a stunning, searing book. This is another classic I somehow missed while growing up, and I've been meaning to read since my daughter read it in 6th grade. Cassie Logan lives with her family on 400 acres of their own land in Depression-era Mississippi. Times are hard, and as Cassie's parents explain, this causes some folks to look to blame somebody. In this case, it is the black families of the community, including the Logans. The Logan children suffer injustices both small and large, but all demeaning, from outdated textbooks in deplorable condition to 'night men' who terrorize and sometimes kill black families in the night. Cassie's poor but secure world is shaken to its core as she matures and comes to understand "how things are," and how different rules apply depending on the color of your skin. A terribly important book for upper elementary grades. I listened to an absolutely stunning narration by the late American actress Lynne Thigpen that was every ounce a breathtaking performance.… (more)
LibraryThing member hayleigh.russo8
The Logan family works hard to keep the small piece of farmland they own. They endure many racial injustices. The children are teased at school by a white children, so they dig out a ditch in the road, trapping the bus and breaking the axle. The Wallace boys burn some local black men, killing one, and so the Logan family begins a fight over the Wallace store. When Stacey, their oldest boy, gets in a fight with his best friend T. J. at the Wallace store, Mama decides to take a tour of the local community and urge people not to let their children go there and not to purchase goods there. However, many families have nowhere else to shop. The Logan children learn from this that in life right now, whites get things that blacks don't, and they need to learn to accept that.

I think this was a good book because it helps kids learn about how our country was not so long ago. It teaches the history that we put our own people though. I also like the different reactions that the children would give to all the commotions that went on during that book.
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LibraryThing member hfc12
Name: Henry Cook
The book is "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred Taylor. This is a fictional book that takes place in Mississippi, near the Delta, in the 1930s, which is a time of extreme racism and discrimination. The book was first published in 1976 by Dial Books, then republished by Puffin Books.

The story of "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is that of a Mississippian black family, the Logans, living in a small town that has both a white community and a black community. The story mainly follows the children, particularly one 9-year-old girl named Cassie, telling the children's experiences with discrimination and racism in their town as they learn what it means to be black in 1930s Mississippi and what they can or cannot do about it. They experience the unfair and brutal attitudes of white southern farmers and townspeople alike, and learn when to take a stand and when to enact revenge, while avoiding all out war. The parents teach the kids about the situation throughout the book, giving stern but hopeful messages, explaining how the world is ignorant sometimes.

The book captured my attention and held it throughout, with its mixture of serious issues and comical scenes, it was a bitter-sweet story. The serious issues that the author presented were that of racism and growing up. The author obviously disagreed with racism (as should everyone) and wanted to picture it in a way that showed how ugly and damaging it is. The issue of growing up that the author brought in was very intriguing, and a harsh truth. If a child is going to grow up in a world like that, they need to know the cold, hard facts about how that world works. These were both issues that Mark Twain encountered and spoke of, and presented well. This book obviously relates to the issue of racism in the general world, and simply confirms that racism is a terrible thing.

Teaching points:
>Do not water down the racism, let the full impact of it hit the students.
>Discuss racism in modern day, how it has changed, and ask the students if they think it is still prevalent.
>Let the comical parts be comical, and let the emotional parts be emotional, push this if you have to.

This book is a powerful one, especially in the South. The issue of racism has always been a touchy one, especially for people who like to censor the classroom. My favorite part about this book is that it uses a child's view of racism, and really simplifies it down to its ugly core. Instead of already accepting something like racism, a child simply wants to know why it is the way it is, and this allows for a plain, truthful response, which brings out the obvious lack of logic in a thing such as racism. While the book is written in a child's point of view, it does not "childize" the world that the narrator experiences, but instead shows an adult world through a child's eye, which is a hard thing to do, but incredibly effective in making the main points stand out clearly. I would definitely use this book in a middle school setting
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LibraryThing member adt112
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor was quite the eye opener. This book is a fiction novel set in Mississippi during the 1930's. The main character Cassie and her brothers, Little Man, Stacey and Christopher-John, all African-American deal with being treated different due to racism. Cassie's family was different from the other black families around. They lived on their own land, their Papa worked off on the RailRoad, and their mother was a school teacher. Big Ma, Cassie's grandmother along with Mr. Morrison tended to the land while the children were at school. Cassie is very different from all of the other black children, she does not accept or understand why she is treated different. Cassie was before her time, her character would have done great things if she were in a different time or setting. The Logan's battle racism at the grocery store, driving down the road, traveling back and forth to Vicksburg, and walking to school. This book shows the trials and tribulations of overcoming racism, and how a community comes to help others within that community.
Teaching Connections: would have to be of an older age to be able to accept the language.
`I would have my students keep a reading log of each chapter and write down how they feel about what happened.
`I would divide my class for pros and cons to discuss the scenes of the story and also whether racism still exists today.
`Connecting this book and "The Help" would also help the meaning of racism.
I am indifferent about this book, I liked the historical aspect of it, but I did not like the language. The book would be a great lesson enhancement to understanding history of this time. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is very supportive of the importance of acceptance and eliminating discrimination and racism.
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LibraryThing member KelliSingleton
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry is a book told by Mildred Taylor. It takes place in the 1900’s in Mississippi. Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry is about an African American family, the Logan’s and how they are mistreated by the white people of their town. The Logan’s had 4 Children, one girl and three boys. The book is told by Cassie Logan, the nine year old daughter. The Logan’s have a house on 400 acers which they own. Papa, The father of the children works in Louisiana and is never home. Papa hires Mr. Morrison to live with his family. Mr. Morrison is there to protect the Logan’s of the night men.
This book can be taught in so many different ways. One way that I would teach this book is in the time that it was told. I would greatly explain the great depression and racism. I would also teach this book during black History month for a 6th grade class room. This book could teach one that they should be thankful of who they are and always stand up for people.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was the best book we have read yet. I read this book when I was in 6th grade and understood it a lot more this time. My favorite character in the book has to be Cassie. She always stands up for herself and other people, especially her family. It really mad me feel bad for the people that lived in the 1900's. Life isnt fair. I personally think if you are races you should consider reading this book, it will change your outlook.
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LibraryThing member Jonathan_Miles
Mildred Taylor's fiction novel "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry", the winner of the 1977 Newbery Medal, is a searing look at the racial hatred and prejudices that forever changes the life of its nine-year-old protagonist, Cassie Logan. Set in fictional Spokane County, Mississippi, during the Great Depression (more specifically, 1933-34), the novel explores the tensions, racial and economic, that loom over Cassie and her family like the clouds that bring the fall rains to Spokane County.

Cassie's family owns four hundred acres of prime farmland, and they have barely scraped by in the last few years to pay the property taxes and keep food on the table and clothes on their backs. Cassie's mother works as a teacher and her father goes south to Louisiana during the cotton-growing season to lay track and earn enough money to fill out the rest of what the family owes. Meanwhile, Cassie and her brothers Stacey, Christopher-John, and Little Man are slowly but surely becoming aware of the racial prejudices that black people face in the community, even becoming a target of that prejudice themselves. In just a year, the whole family's outlook on life is turned upside down by a series of events that shakes the whole community.

"Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is a great novel. Its narrator Cassie is sassy but vulnerable, and she tells her story with great courage and tenacity. She is a very memorable protagonist, and so young and full of fire that the reader grows to love her by the end of the book. The book examines a lot of racial issues that preceded the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and gives us an insight into why this was necessary--white people had all the power, and black people had no rights and no influence, no way to protect themselves legally. Taylor, through Cassie's eyes, is presenting this material from the side of the oppressed, and her account is maddening and heartbreaking at the same time. This book reminds of "To Kill a Mockingbird", honestly; the only difference in structure being that the race of the narrator is African-American rather than Caucasian. Both Cassie and Scout Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird", during the course of their stories, recognize the injustice of racism for the first time in their short lives.

• Have the students divide into groups, and each one select a scene from the novel. Have the groups discuss their respective scenes’ importance to the story as a whole, and have each student turn in their own reflection on this assignment.
• Character analysis—Have these same groups pick a character from the novel and discuss them. What are their motivations? What are their goals? How do the particular characters’ actions drive the plot to its ultimate climax? Have each student turn in a reflection on the character.

To conclude, "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is at the same time a powerful coming-of-age story and a look at the racial tensions that precluded the civil rights movement. It is a great book, and an essential read (I think) for young people who don't understand the issue of racial prejudice and the role it played in launching a movement for equality.
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LibraryThing member hmr83
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Mildred Taylor

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor is a fiction novel based in Mississippi in the 1930s. This coming-of-age story about a nine-year old African American girl, Cassie, as she realizes the impact her race has on every aspect of her life.

As the novel starts, Cassie Logan and her three brothers are walking to school and run up on the road bank by the white kids school bus from Jefferson Davis. Taylor immediately gives her readers a glimpse into the lives of her characters, showing their everyday troubles. Although this may seem innocent enough, there are other conflicts that influence the Logan children's lives. Some of these include a near attack on their home after Cassie and her brothers had dug out a wash in the road, causing the Jefferson Davis school bus to break in half - a sweet revenge that turns into fear as Cassie realizes that her family could have been in danger (67), an altercation at the general store, where Cassie speaks up because the store clerk helps a white lady instead of her and gets threatened, simply because of her race (111), and later in the novel, Cassie witnesses her parents quiet rebellion against the local white store owners who price gouge their African American customers (99). All of these clues, and a firm discussion with her mother, force Cassie to grow up quickly in the face of prejudice, racism, and imminent danger.

I think Mildred Taylor did an excellent job of retelling the story of the Post-Reconstruction South that everyone has heard in a fresh and lively way. I really enjoyed that the novel is told through Cassie's perspective; the reader is in Cassie's head as she goes from naive, to confused, to hurt, to determined to escape the oppression that her family faces. I think Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry has several themes, mainly prejudice, racism, freedom, perseverance, and respect. Because this book was published in 1976, there were still many social undertones that were stirring from integration and the Civil Rights Movement. Whether Taylor's purpose was to continue to stoke the fire or simply tell a story about a young girl, I do not know. However, I do believe that Taylor would agree with me when I say that racism has not ended. It may not be as public or a dangerous, physically, but the affects of prejudices have the ability to affect someone's life. By calling attention to such a controversial issue at such a pivotal time in history has to have some affect, and I think it definitely changed a few stereotypes that I held before reading Roll of Thunder. Mr. Morrison, the big black man, built like "a human tree in height" (34) would probably scare anyone, even Cassie is wary of him when they first met, but he ends up being one of the most faithful characters in Taylor's novel. Mrs. Logan is a teacher at Great Faith schools, probably one of the best, yet she is fired because of who she is and what she stands for, equality. There are countless books on racism, To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn, to name a couple, the idea of true freedom resonates throughout them. Whether Jim (in Huck Finn) or T.J. (in Roll of Thunder) they both want to escape the repression they face daily, and really, is that too much to ask?

The ideas when teaching this book are limitless.
-After completing a literature circle on this book, several of the positions that I held gave me ideas for how to teach the material. My favorite job was connector, and literature is so easy to connect to other subjects, especially history, art, and even music. I found several of Eudora Welty's photographs from the Delta area that were taken during the time this novel was set.
-I think the themes in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry lend themselves to various teaching techniques. I think that diversity in the classroom is very important, and while diversity can be found in almost any literary text, it is imperative to include these historically accurate (but often heart-wrenching) stories of the conflicts between races. Instead of focusing on how it was an inhibitor to many African Americans, I think it might be interesting to get students to brainstorm about what might have been accomplished if all Americans, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or any other differences had come together instead of separation.

I believe that Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a great book for any classroom and a great read all on its own. I believe that the themes and opinions that are presented in the book allows for easy discussion in many different settings. I would recommend Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry to a variety of age groups, in a plethora of settings. It's that good.
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LibraryThing member baw210
The “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred Taylor is a fictional novel. This book is based on the history of the south during the 30’s in Mississippi. The main character is Cassie, who also narrates the story, is a young African American girl. She has three brothers, Little Man, Christopher-John, and Stacey. There family is different from most African American families in this time; they have their own cotton farm that they work on all the time. The kids deal with racial things all throughout the book like at school and in the grocery store. The theme of this book is racism and mistreatment to African Americans
I thought this book was really good. It really let you see into the lives of African Americans in the 30’s and really let you feel the way they felt dealing with discrimination. I think this book can be compared to a recent book and movie that came out called “The Help”. Both of these stories deal with African American and how they were treated back in those days and how they tried to get revenge on the whites.
Teaching Ideas:
1. Discuss racism as a class and what the students think it is and talk about if it’s still going on today
2. I think bringing in other stories that relate like “The Help” would help them connect to the story more. Even watching a movie that deals with racism
3. Get the students to get in groups and all pick a scene and let them choose whether they want to act out the scene
This book is very moving and really helps you to understand the things that happened. I think it is a great book for everybody to read. The language would be an issue I might have in a classroom with this, but other than that I really enjoyed the book Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
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LibraryThing member IlonaJones
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a historical fiction book written by Mildred D. Taylor. The story portrays an African American family living in Mississippi in the 1930's. The story takes place at a time in Mississippi history when African Americans were first considered free. During this same time the white people in this area of Mississippi did not believe that the rights that applied to them applied to the African Americans. This story is told by the daughter only of an African American family, Cassie, she and her family are growing up in this era and her parents have taught her and her brothers that they are just as good and deserving as the next person. Unfortunately, they have to learn that the white community does not believe they are as deserving as whites are and that they can treat the African American community as poorly as they like and call it justice.
The Logan family has property that the grandfather acquired and left to his wife, Big Ma, she and her sons have worked hard to keep the land taxes paid and have enough money left over to take care of their own families. Cassie's mother is a teacher and her father has to work on the railroad, this keeps him from home long periods of time. They have taught their children that they are privileged because of the land that they own. The only problem with that is their parents have not prepared them for the harsh reality of the outside world and it is about to hit them in the face like a hard ball. The children in their journey will become aware of the racial prejudices that black people face in the community they will even be targeted with prejudice. The children’s outlook on life will have changed by the end of their journey and they will have grown up before their time.
"Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is a really good novel. Cassie is the narrator; she is strong willed and will not let anyone run over her. She tells this story with a passion that only she can tell it; she has to have a lot of courage to even be talking about a lot of the things that she endured on this journey. This story lets us into the lives of a community where the white people had all the power, and the black people had no rights in the community. The black people did not have any way to protect themselves from all the injustices that they faced on a daily basis. This story looks at a lot of the racial issues that came before the civil rights movement. The information that the author is giving to us is given from the side of the underdog. The narrator learns on her journey and recognizes the injustice of racism for the first time in her life and she is not pleased with what life has to offer.
• Have the students choose a favorite scene and do a drawing that portrays what the scene would look like to them.
• Have the students get into a group and choose a favorite scene, have them act out the scene.
• Have the students in a group choose a scene and set it to music.
I think this book is a good book because it shows how the south was before the Civil War. It gives the reader an idea of what hardships a person had to endure in order to just see another day. It also shows how the strength of one family helped them overcome a lot of the injustice that was present in this time.
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LibraryThing member MandyLCollins
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry written by Mildred D. Taylor is a fiction book told from the narrator Cassie’s perspective. Cassie is a young, black girl that struggles to understand the unjust prejudices that are present in her community. Throughout the book, Cassie must endure challenges based on discrimination and hate from the predominant white race along with her family and friends. As a child of a fairly independent family, Cassie is raised in a sheltered environment where she is taught to stand up for what is right and has no indication of the reasoning behind the burnings and false accusations that are occurring in her town.
Cassie attends school along with her three brothers Stacey, Christopher-John, and Little Man at the Great Faith Elementary and Secondary School where her mother serves as one of the teachers. Throughout the book, many challenges occur where Cassie feels she is mistreated and longs for understanding behind the hateful actions. Her encounters with Lillian Jean, the mercantile at the Granger store, and with her on teacher push her to her limits and she is taught the hard way why things are the way they are. With her family being one of the prestigious black families in the community due to their land ownership, they are viewed by other black families as unable to relate to the common black people who must serve the whites for their income and well-being. Cassie and her family strive to help out the other families and in turn must face rejection and other tribulations. Her mother is fired from teaching and the financial situation becomes unstable. The family is forced to come to terms with reality and faces the decision of whether or not to give up the only thing they can call their own: the land.
This book brings many emotions to the surface of my mind. I enjoyed reading this book because I felt that it contained a variety of images and situations which allowed me to experience anger, sadness, and happiness. Taylor uses this book to provide a storyline that is historical as well as informative. The use of the themes injustice, prejudice, and maturity allow the reader to view the racial issues from the perspective of a child who longs for everything to be equal. Cassie gives the reader an understanding of a child-like perspective of discrimination as well as the encouragement to seek justice in unfair circumstances. I agree with the author’s honest presentation of the events and the way she uses humorous as well as serious scenes to capture all aspects of the children’s daily lives as victims to the injustice they endure. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry relates to To Kill a Mockingbird because they both deal with discrimination of the races and injustice. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the black man is wrongly convicted; however, he is defended by a white man. In the same way, in the book Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Cassie shares friendship with a white child named Jeremy. Each of these books shows how people are all people and should be treated as such. The subject of racism and injustice is still very evident in today’s society; however, just as the blacks and whites come together in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, we should all treat others with kindness and come together to better our world with no regards to our differences.
Below are several teaching ideas, concerns, themes, or connections with other text that a teacher could consider important and could possibly teach:
•Instruct the students to tell of a time when they were the minority and were able to be exposed to another culture, race, or different background than they were accustomed.
•Arrange the class into a discussion circle and discuss the different scenes in the book that present the causes and effects of injustice or prejudices.
After reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry I was able to take a moment and put myself in the shoes of Cassie and experience the challenges and emotional interactions she faced. I believe this book is a very rewarding book for adolescent children because it is told in the perspective of a young student. The students will learn the importance of racial equality and experience the hurt in which the injustice creates. This book could be considered controversial due to its racial content; however, I believe it is appropriate for children to be aware of the past in order to excel in justice in the future.
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LibraryThing member lrb209
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a fiction book written by Mildred D. Taylor. This story is set in a time where segregation was thought to be the ideal setting for everyone and a time where racism was what was known in the south. Cassie Logan is a young, African American, girl who is growing up in the south and is faced with the challenges of life for that time period. She, along with her family, have their struggles with trying to pay taxes and the mortgage on their land, which they proudly own, and dealing with the way white people are treating their neighbors. Their have been acts of racism going on and Cassie and her siblings see things that children should not. Cassie also looses her childhood innocence once she steps out into the world from her sheltered life. She learns the hard way that everyone is not considered equal and she must find a way to deal with the emotional factors that this revelation causes for her. Her parents have kept the cruel world at bay for as long as they could, but now that world is coming at her and her siblings in a way that they would never imagine.
This book is very memorable because it is told by the point of view of a young child. It creates a certain amount of fear for the reader to imagine a time that this was taking place and also sheds light to the fact that not only did young children have to live through this, but a number of innocent people were hurt during this time period. Taylor sheds light on the coming of age of the characters in a time where Cassie and her family weren't safe. The Logan children witnessed horrific crimes that children should not see and they were put into situations that no one should be in. These children were even talked to in a way that no one should be talked to. However, I am glad that Taylor put these situations in this book because it makes the story for the reader. The Racism aspect of the book also brings the reader back to the time and place this story is set in. Without the graphic scenes that the words portray, the book would not have the same affect that it has on the reader. Compared to other books dealing with racism, Taylor doesn't try to find a way to end racism she simply gives the facts and details of what happened. She does "not write with bitterness, but she does write with pride, strength, and respect for humanity," (The New York Times Book Review). This book can open readers minds to what else is out there and what history can tell a person if they only dig a little to find it. Taylor writes about racism set before segregation, but if one looks around racism is still a part of today's society and something needs to be done about that.
-Have the students share their thoughts about the book and what emotions they felt while reading.
-Have the students write about a scene or line that they connected with the most and ask them to explain why they connected with it.
-Have the students form literary circles and discuss the reading and comments that they have about the book.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a book that students should read in the classroom. Even though it is fiction, there is a reality about it and there are characteristics in the book that children of any age can make connections to or learn something from.
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LibraryThing member WhitneeJenkins
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry is a fiction story written by author Mildred. D. Taylor. This is a story of an African American family enduring the hardships of racism and discrimination. Cassie, along with her three brothers, does not understand being hated because she is a 'nigra'. Fed up, she and her family face trouble when they fight back with the whites that hate them so much.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved that it showed me the hardships my grandparents and parents faced during this time period. The issues that arise in the book are racism and discrimination. I agree with these issues because everyone still needs to be reminded of this era. Everyone that had to endure the pain and woe, like the Logans, still needs to receive appreciation by teachers retelling their stories through books such as this one. Another book that has similar issues would be the book, Monster. In my opinion it is the modern day Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. In that book, discrimination took place when Steve was automatically guilty in the eyes of the prosecutor because of his skin color. I agree with this in every way because discrimination and racism are both very wrong. Reading this book has changed my opinion about racism a lot. It changed for the better. After reading this book, I now have a better appreciation for blacks during that time period.

Teaching Ideas:
Importance of stopping racism/discrimination
Importance of acceptance
Importance of teaching history

Also, it is important for the teacher to involve the students to get there opinions and reactions to the behavior that when on in the era.

I recommend this book to everyone able to read!! It will impact your life like non other. Every issue stated is worth going back and discussing with anyone, especially adolescents. Racism and discrimination are real issues that will never go away, but it is up to people to become educated on this matter to help cease this from continuing.
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
This reminded me, in many ways, of Ms. Harper's "To Kill a Mockingbird". Cassie finds herself caught up in the racial tensions in their community at the same time that she is coming face to face with what it means to be black in the South. While her parents walk the fine line between keeping their family safe and still striving for a better life, Cassie has to learn that being safe sometimes means doing things you don't want to do. Thought-provoking book.… (more)
LibraryThing member ashleymcquirk
This book is about a family living in Mississippi in the 1930s. The Logans are the only family who own land and their possession of that land is threatened. Cassie is the protagonist of the story, and she goes encounters some very adult themes during the story. She is humiliated multiple times, but she learns to stand up for herself and she learns how important her family is to her as the safety of her family is threatened.

I think there are some great vocabulary words prevalent throughout the novel and I would use those words to have students fill in a vocabulary worksheet. As a class we would go through the vocabulary words and see if students can figure out the meanings of some of the words based on context clues and word formation. I think that as a conclusion to the novel, students could write a letter to one of the characters expressing their concern, condemnation, questions etc. I think it would be an excellent writing opportunity for students to learn how to express their feeling eloquently.

I adore this book, I remember reading it when I was very young and being touched even then. The plot moves at an enjoyable pace, with those moments of tension and excitement creating a nice wave of emotions. I like that the book brings up issues of racism but does not explicitly talk about the horribly things that happened during that time. I think it's just enough for the reader to feel the injustice and to sympathize with the Logans and their friends.
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LibraryThing member brandyccross
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Car is a fictional novel that deal with an important part of our history as Americans. The story is set in Mississippi in the early 1930's. This is a time when African Americans were free as individual, but far before the Civil Rights Act. African Americans were still dealing with an extreme amount of hate and discrimination from white people in America. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry shows the families struggle during this difficult time in our country.
The story is about the Logan family, who is one of the very few African American families that own land in this time. It shows greatly how in the 1930's the color of your skin defined you completely as an individual. There are a two parts in the book that are what I immediately think about that shows the hatred there was for African Americans in that time. The most powerful would have to be when books are being passed to children in the school. This inside of the books show that as the book decreases in condition, they are passed down to the African Americans. It is hard for the children to understand why that is and why they aren't as valued to the white children in the school. It is heartbreaking to read about these children not getting it and being completely oblivious to what is happening to them. Another part is when the children dig the hole in the road, so that the bus will crash inside the hole. These children are so deeply hurt when the bus driver intentional splash mud and water onto them; that they feel the need to destroy something. The story really shows that this family had to love each unconditionally to make it through such a rough time. The children had to slowly learn the reality of their world and learn how to make it through as a strong individual.
To be honest, I didn't enjoy actually reading the book. I strongly support the message of the book and find the importance of the book, but for some reason I had a hard time reading through the book. I am not entirely sure why that is, but it took me some amount of time to finish it up. The message is one that I would indubitably teach to the children in my classroom, but I feel as if I would want to find another book that is an easier read for children. I would want them to still get the entire message and want them to understand the hate of discrimination.
This reminds me of a video I watched for another class, it was a teacher who taught a lesson shortly after Martin Luther King's death. She divided her class into blue eyed children and brown eyed children, and told them that the blue eyed children were superior. She made the brown eyed children wear collars and the blue eyed children could not treat them equal the entire day. The brown eyed children were quite obviously distraught with how they were being treated, so much that even there learning capabilities declined. The next day she reversed the roles and all the children gained a clear understanding of the kind of impact discrimination leaves. This is the type of activity I would enjoy doing inside of my classroom and I think leaves a huge impression on the children, without them feeling pressured to read something they might not enjoy.
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LibraryThing member Jacob_Kent
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is written by Mildred D. Taylor. This gripping fiction is set in the Mississippi Delta in the early 1930s, a time when racial discrimination was extremely common between the southern whites and the black people who were commonly forced to sharecrop.
The Logan family is a African American family, but unlike most, they own land and farm cotton on it. This land was acquired by the grandfather and has been the single most source of dignity and pride in the community. The story is told from the view point of Cassie Logan(9) as she describes happenings that are relevant to the rest of her family's survival. Cassie, along with her brothers Stacey, Christopher-John, and Little Man are involved with several 'adventures' throughout the book, including countless run-ins with racial injustice in their school, in town, and at the grocery store. The narrative revolves around Cassie's interpretations of this discrimination, but also around the Logans' decision to fight back.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel simply because of the themes, but also because of the language. The dialect used is very useful in picturing the way southerners spoke in the 30's. I also thought it was interesting to see everything from a 9 year old's thought process. The reader knows of the struggles that African Americans faced, and it is difficult to watch Cassie's realization of her actual situation. Besides the obvious discussions of race differences and hate, I think the author teaches the importance of family and knowing from where you come. Taylor also shows the innocence of a child throughout the text. I completely agree with the author's point in teaching Cassie that you must depend on the ones you love the most. This book can relate to many other novels that also show the discrimination of a certain group of people.

• Have the classroom compare and contrast the Logan’s situation (or post slavery families) to the Jewish community during the Holocaust.
• Classroom discussion- “Has there ever been a time when you came to a sudden realization, and it hurt you badly?” “What does discrimination mean in today’s terms?”
• Have the students create a poster about a certain scene in the novel.

I think the most important thing about this novel is that it is based on actions that actually took place. Racism is a VERY real thing, and it is important for our generation to understand racism from the past so we can recognize it today.
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LibraryThing member KatieSpears
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was written by Mildred D. Taylor and is a work of fiction. The story is set in 1933 in Strawberry, Mississippi when racial tension was high and hate crimes were common.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry centers on the Logan family. The Logans are the only black family in Strawberry to own their own land and farm for themselves. Mama and Papa Logan have raised their children without the influence of racism, which later puts the children at a disadvantage. As Mama and Papa try to fight the rising tension and racisim with non-violent rebellion by convincing the townspeople to buy groceries in Vicksburg, the Logan children (Stacey, Cassie, Christopher John, and Little Man) fight racism in amongst the children of Strawberry. The most important thing to the Logans, though, is keeping their land. Without their land, they lose a sense of their strong family history of hard work and ambition. However, the tension amongst the people of Strawberry peaks when Stacey's best friend T.J. starts hanging around some dangerous white kids. Through T.J.'s experience, the Logan children learn of the extreme dangers of the world they live in. If the Logans can stick together and keep the community together, they have a chance of restoring peace to Strawberry.

I think this book is a good read for adults and children. The book is interesting in its real life portrayal of the 1930's in Mississippi. The lessons within the book are relatabe to any reader and are unforgettable because of the strong messages in the book. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry shows the horrific results of hate and ignorance. The book raises issues of racism and hate crimes being destructive and gives a look at what people can accomplish together. I agree with Taylor that racism and hate crimes are an abomination to the world. We are all a part of this world and should love and treat each other as fellow citizens sharing a living space. I think Taylor is trying to point out the bonds within families and communities to overcome adversity. Taylor is right that only together can obstacles be overcome. This book reminds me a lot of The Help by Kathryn Stockett who also shows a slightly more recent portrayal of racism in Mississippi. Stockett uses black family maids working in Jackson, Mississippi to also show how racism and hate can destroy people and the world. I think that Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, The Help, and other books with similar themes are trying to warn today's society against racsim and hate. I think they are testaments of what people today should avoid in order to create a more liveable and better world.

Teaching Ideas:
-Group Project to create flyers to raise awareness on racism and prejudice in the world today (Local or International)
-Clips of The Help movie to supplement reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
-Explore racism against other people (Jews, stereotypes of groups of people, etc.)

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a moving and powerful book that makes one aware of the hate in the world that has been overcome and the hate in the world that has yet to be overcome. Racism and hate are obstacles to be conquered in order to create better immediate living circumstances. The issues of race and prejudice in the book show the issues of injustice and how injustice can tear apart and bring together communities. Students and teachers cannot afford to miss out on this book from which society can learn how to be more unified.
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LibraryThing member mrsarey
This is an incredible story of a black family in the thirties and its struggle in a world where blacks are second class citizens. Every one should read this at least once!
LibraryThing member MereYom
This book is literature. Well written. Well developed characters. But best of all, Mildred Taylor demonstrates that she is a master of the literary climax. She piles conflict on conflict, and then when you think it will NEVER rain, finally she brings resolution. Excellent.
LibraryThing member debnance
Roll of Thunder is a reread (or, to be more exact, a re-listen). I loved it the first time and I loved it this time. It’s the kind of book I now want to push off on everyone I meet.

It’s a story of the horrible effects of racism, but it is also much more than that. It’s the story of the struggles of a family to keep their land, to be good citizens and human beings, to have children that are good citizens and good human beings. I marveled at the character of Mama and Papa who never gave up their fight. I was happy to see Mr. Morrison in the story, a white man who dared to flaunt the social norms for the higher principles of justice. I was sad to watch T.J. fall prey to greed and pride.

What a great story! I keep wanting to alert Oprah. Wouldn’t it be fun to have an Oprah read that kids could read, too?
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LibraryThing member ChCh0925
Though not the best book that I have read, roll of thunder is interesting in its setting. Also, the characters are quaint and on occasion, funny.
LibraryThing member ShannaThomp08
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a fiction book written by Mildred D. Taylor and published by The Dial Press of New York. The story takes place in the South during the 1930s when blacks were forced to deal with discrimation and prejudice acts.

In this story we are introduced to a black family that consists of four children,a mom, dad, and grandmother. Cassie, being next to the oldest of the four is telling the story. As we follow along as Cassie narrates we are instantly apart of the family in that we are able to witness the many things Cassie and her family goes through. Cassie like any other nine-year old girl experiences situations that she does not quite understand due to how she was raised at home, but sooner than later she grows up and realizes that the society that she lives in is the way it is rather she agrees with them or not.

My opinion about this book is that it was entertaining and factual. It is entertaining because alot of the scenes were quite memborable and actually pretty funny. An example, is when Cassie and Lillian Jean get into a physical altercation. It is factual in that some of the things that the characters say were really true in realtion to life and overall good advice. An example, is when Mama tells Cassie that"...we gave no choice of what color we're born or who our parents are or whether we're rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we're here"(129). This quote is very ture because people do not have control over what type of lifestyle they are born into, but we do indeed have control over what we do in our lives such as the chocies and decisions that we make. Also, in the book there are numerouds issues that the book raises, but two that really stood out to me was discrimation and prejudice acts. According to Mildred Taylor's opinions I feel like she just wanted to show readers what to get an actual look on what blacks use to deal with back then and how they just had to accept it in order to keep themselves and their families free from harm and hurt.I think she also wanted readers to realize that although discrimation and prejudice was accepted that it was wrong. I agree with her in every aspect because until people fully realize that even though our skin may be different our blood is red which means we are all alike in many ways than one and we should treat people with respect, loyalty, and fairness they deserve. Another book that may ne in realtion to this is the Diary of Anne Frank which is also narrated by a young girl and tells of the horrible prejudice situations that Jews faced during the Holocaust. I agree with this book also because even though we may have not experienced these tragic situations hands on it is good to know that people are willing to share this type of information with readers so that we can know so we can learn from past mistakes and make better decisions. In comparison to larger issues such as injustice in America I feel that reading this book has only confirmed my opinion that still yet today injustice, discrimation, and prejudice still goes on.

This book has so many lessons that could be taught to students, but some ideas could be: 1) For an introduction for the book the teacher could get students to maybe discuss whether or not they have experienced either of them and how it made them feel when it happened. 2) While students are reading the book they can possibly act out certain scenes in the book.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is an excellent book in that it is a remarkable story that takes the reader on a historical bus ride back into time and leaves a peson thinking about the world we live in and whether or not we have turly come along way from prejudice and discrimation or are we as Americans just doing a good job of covering it up.
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LibraryThing member Nicole.Virden
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry is a book told from the point of view of a little girl named Cassie who lives with her parents and her three brothers. Her father is gone most of the time. The book is about how the family is mistreated by the white people in the town they live in and how they overcome this racism. It is about the children getting in trouble and learning lessons about life. They also learn new things about racism and things that are not fair to them. The children have a friend name T.J who is thought to have done something very bad and is put in jail for a time and expected to be killed.

I would use this book in a classroom setting for 6th or 7th graders in Mississippi. I feel like at this age they need to be aware of how things went in their state and how harsh the times were even after slavery ended. This book is good to use in a history class because it tells a story from a young girl's perspective, who witnessed the things happening around her. This book paints a picture of how hard it was for certain group of people in this time. It could also show them how lucky we are today to live in the time period we do where we do not have to witness that or be a part of it.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I feel like it paints a pretty close picture of how times actually were for black people in the thirties. I feel like even though we can move past it, we should all be aware of what went on so that we can see a change. I really liked the dialect of this book. It make me feel like I was actually listening to a young girl tell the story of what she witnessed. This book is probably meant for school age kids but I feel like any age person could read this book and get something out of it.
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LibraryThing member anniecate
Mildred Taylor's "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is a fictional novel that is based on the history of the south during the 30's. It is set in Mississippi specifically in 1933. During this time, especially in the south, although African Americans were "free", they still experienced the extreme prejudice of those around them. The main character/narrator is Cassie, an African American young girl and the only daughter in the Logan family. She has three brothers, Stacey, Christopher-John, and Little Man. The Logan's are more fortunate than most African Americans of this time because they work hard and own their own land. This work shows Cassie and her brothers struggle to understand why they are mistreated by the white people around them, because to them they feel as though they deserve respect (which they do). The white people feel differently though.

I really enjoyed this book. I think that it gave a good insight to the things that happened in the past and also opened our eyes to things that maybe still going on today. The issues it raises in the extreme prejudice and the coming of age of Cassie and her brothers. They had to realize what it was like outside the safety of their sheltered home. This book is similar and has some of the same issues and it is "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. In both stories African Americans suffer at the hands of the whites and like both Cassie and her brothers sought revenge on the bus, a character in "The Help" did the same by seeking revenge on another character. In both works they experience mistreatment. I definitely think it changed my opinion because most of the time you think about slavery as the time that African Americans were mistreated, but then this book makes you remember that the mistreatment is happening way more recently than you usually think.

Teaching Connections:
1. A concern would be some of the language. I would not want any of my students to be offended by the words the book uses. But the language is also important to getting the story line across.
2. An activity would be to have a classroom discussion about the issues in the book and allow them to act out scenes.
3. Connecting the more recent novel "The Help" would also be a good way to teach this book.

Great read overall. The prejudice and mistreatment of the African Americans is definitely a theme, as well as Cassie learning how the world works outside they home. If you are sensitive to the "n-word" or racial slurs, i would suggest that you not read this work.
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LibraryThing member Jonathan_Walker
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, is a realistic fiction novel written by Mildred D. Taylor. Taylor’s novel illustrates the hardships that one black community faced during the 1930’s in Mississippi. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was the winner of the 1977 Newberry medal.

Mildred D. Taylor’s, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, is about the hardships that racism causes in the south. In 1933, the color of your skin defined your existence in the world, but the Logan family had something must colored families did not, land. While Cassie tells her story of the hardships her family and her community faced, she also discovers the importance of having a place to call one’s own. With her father in Louisiana laying track for a railroad, Cassie and her family have to keep the farm in order. However, it does not take long to discover what will happen to a black person if he or she ‘forgets their place,’ the “night riders” make sure of that either by burning or tarring a man alive. The whites make sure to let the blacks know their place in this small Mississippi town by running them off the road with a school bus or giving the black schools their old discarded textbooks that would be better served for a fire’s kenneling. When Cassie goes to Strawberry, Mississippi with Big Ma, she gets her first taste of how mean a white person can be to a little child. Just wanting their supplies list filled so Cassie and her family can go home, turns into a lesson that will never be forgotten by Cassie.

I, personally, enjoyed reading this book. I think that it is very accurate in the way that it depicts how life was back in the 1930’s. I believe that the strongest issue that the book raises is racism. Taylor focuses on one family that has sheltered their kids for the harsh reality of life, and until Cassie goes to town she is not fully aware of how society expects certain groups of people to act. However, today’s society is not any better. By reading this book, the reader can become aware of how damaging racism can be, and not just towards the black community but towards every community. Several books came to my mind when I read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. John Grisham’s A Time to Kill and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird both raise the same issue as Taylor’s novel. All three novels have black people being judged unfairly due to the color of their skin. Today’s society still judges based on the color of one’s skin, and now it has moved toward where someone lives, what clothes he/she wears, and even how he/she speaks.

Themes
• How Mississippi was before the Civil Rights Movement
• Racism
• Prejudice
• True friends
• Obedience

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is an easy to read realistic fiction that can teach the necessary need for equality among society’s citizens. I would definitely read this book again, and I would urge anyone over the age of 13 to read this book. Overall, I would give this book 4 stars.
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