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3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,402 Ratings  ·  216 Reviews
The summer of 1898 is filled with ups and downs for 11-year-old Moses. He's growing apart from his best friend, his superstitious Boo-Nanny butts heads constantly with his pragmatic, educated father, and his mother is reeling from the discovery of a family secret. Yet there are good times, too. He's teaching his grandmother how to read. For the first time she's sharing sto ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
21st out of 113 books — 1,215 voters
Return to Sender by Julia AlvarezTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeLegend by Marie LuIron Thunder by AviThe Underneath by Kathi Appelt
NC Battle of the Books 13/14
13th out of 28 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 30, 2014 Londa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Have you ever heard about the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 ?

It is the only coup d'etat to ever occur in United States history! It should be as well known as the Rosewood massacre or the Tulsa race riots, but I have never heard of it before I read this book.

This book is truly a gem. It tells of a boy named Moses who is growing up in a fairly harmonious town. His father is a writer and a city alderman. As I read the first chapters of the book, I was amazed that blacks and whites seemed to be ge
Feb 26, 2016 Jelly12 rated it it was amazing
I Love this book!
This book takes place 1898. A 11 year old boy named Moses is growing up in a small town in North Carolina. It was really was exciting and sad and very interesting. The end of the book is really sad! I need to read more books from her.
Colby Sharp
I wish I were smart enough to write a review on this amazing book. Nothing I would say could do this book justice.
Barb Middleton
Nov 26, 2012 Barb Middleton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Last spring, I accidentally tripped over a Goodreads Newbery 2013 prediction list. This small gem of a list has had me blazing through many great novels the past few months. Actually I was blazing a few months ago. Now I'm snatching time here and there. Anyhoo... check out Crow...a worthy recommendation! It is my latest, all-in-good-fun, guess for the Newbery winner.

I have found it fascinating to read how professional reviewers look at Newbery predictions and discuss the details of what might ma
May 05, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it
A troubling book without easy answers, but I'm not sure of its audience and/or whether it's hitting that audience. I feel like the best reader would be older than the eleven-year-old protagonist. In particular, I'm not sure how many kids would understand the implication (or facts) about who Moses's grandfather is and what that means. I was surprised that this plot point wasn't revisited.

For the first half or so I kept getting confused about when this book was set, but that may be my own fault--s
Feb 26, 2016 Softball=Life rated it it was amazing
This is a great story about a young boy figuring out the world in a very harsh manner.
This is a solid young adult book, full of historical information and racial conflict. Wright does a great job of presenting some tough themes through a child narrator.

She describes the North Carolina city of Wilmington which (accurately, per her historical note in the afterword) had a remarkable black middle class in 1898: “two years shy of the twentieth century, people of color would hold four of ten seats on the Board of Alderman”.

Moses is very conscious (even before the riots) of his place in
Highly flawed: the author wanted to provide the reader with a historical fiction account of the events leading up to and during the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898. Her choice to present the account in the first person perspective of a 12 year old boy forced her to explain him into situations. The way he 'just happened to be there' became extremely tedious and unbelievable as the story wore on. Eye-roll inducing.

The voice of the main character was terribly inauthentic throughout - a 12 year old pu
Richie Partington
Richie’s Picks: CROW by Barbara Wright, Random House, January 2012, 304p., ISBN: 978-0-375-86928-0

“She grew up on a plantation by the ocean and knew an awful lot for someone who couldn’t read or write. She taught me things that Daddy, with all his degrees, didn’t know: that the full moon pulls the tides higher; that star formations appear in different parts of the sky depending on the season; that conch shells hold the sound of the ocean inside them; that the tiny beads of silver that twinkle at
Cara Lee
Sep 03, 2012 Cara Lee rated it it was amazing
Although this book is marketed as middle-grade fiction, it has a depth and complexity that I believe will appeal to sophisticated readers in all age groups. Filtering the story of the little-known Wilmington Massacre and the events leading up to it through the eyes of a boy of eleven-going-on-twelve was an inspired choice. Moses learns about racism in a similar way to that in which a younger child discovers there is no Santa Claus, only it's a much ruder awakening. To feel the confusion of a boy ...more
Sep 25, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
"I've been naive. I've taught you to live in a world I wanted to exist, not one that actually does."

Nothing makes me happier than to blindly stumble into a great story. With the right recommendation, even the flap is a spoiler. Boo Nanny is the first reason to fall in love with this book. As Moses tells it, she takes in wash from the white people in town which clues us in to the time period. Jack Thomas, dad of Moses, works for a newspaper, the first black daily. Over the next 120 pages we coast
Chelsea Couillard-Smith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patsi Trollinger
A bookseller friend recommended this middle-grade book of historical fiction, and when I glanced at the flap copy, I was startled by the reference to the Wilmington (NC) Massacre of 1898. My husband is a North Carolina native and, while he knew about this dramatic bit of history, I did not. Barbara Wright brings the era and true events to life by telling the story through the eyes of an African-American boy, Moses Thomas. HIs gritty and superstitious grandmother, Boo Nanny, adds texture to the n ...more
Ender Sword
Feb 26, 2016 Ender Sword rated it it was amazing
it is amazing 92 stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Moses is a good character, but Nanny Boo is an absolutely fabulous one. What a woman! I thought the story was very interesting and it really brought the Wilmington Race Riots to life. I didn't know what the book was about and the first pages didn't really establish the period, so it wasn't until page 23 when Moses mentions riding in a carriage that I realized I was picturing the wrong century altogether. My only complaint is that I thought the way that the tragedy touched Moses' family was rathe ...more
Apr 21, 2012 Ryan rated it liked it
I think what I liked best about this was the way each character represented a group - like a stereotype, I suppose, but not so cliche - and the interactions between the characters told the bigger story of this period of American History. In 1898, Wilmington, NC, had educated black men serving in elected positions, but the Civil War was still a fresh memory. Moses' father was one of these educated black men. His mother and grandmother represented the former slave, and Moses was a merging of old a ...more
Feb 26, 2016 molly03 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jun 13, 2016 Krista rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 2015 Diane rated it it was amazing
Based on actual events in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898. Referred to in the author's note as the Wilmington Race Riots.

It's the story of a young man named Moses whose family is right in the middle of this turbulent time period. Moses' father, a highly educated writer for the newspaper and an elected alderman, is a solid role model and hero to Moses. But they are living in precarious times. There is an uneasiness between the black and white population and when an editorial by Alex Manley co
Kelsey Barbour
Mar 01, 2015 Kelsey Barbour rated it really liked it

Crow by Barbara Wright is a historical fiction book from the eyes of Moses, an 11 year old African American boy from a middle class family (just one generation after slavery) right before and during the Wilmington Race Riot. Things were going well for them as well as other African Americans in their community. They were successful and getting the respect they deserve. That is, until Democratic white supremacists decide to overthrow the government and become violent towards Afri
Alexander Davidson
Jul 29, 2014 Alexander Davidson rated it liked it
Barbara Wright's novel Crow is the story of the young black Moses Thomas as he grows up in 1898 North Carolina. Moses lives with his mother Sadie (a light-skinned woman with great beauty and musical talent), his father Jack (a newspaperman for the Daily Record and an elected city official who valued education), and his grandmother Boo Nanny (a former slave and believer in the old ways and traditions). This novel captures a year in the life of a black boy growing up in troubling times.

Each chapte
May 24, 2012 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: with-lexie
I picked the book because it was mentioned in a list of Newbery Award hopefuls only knowing that it was about African Americans in the South in the late 1800s. True to form I didn't read the jacket. As a result, I couldn't figure out where the book was going for the first 40-50% (reading via Kindle!). When the story shifted to the coup d' etat, it picked up speed and got much more interesting. I hadn't known about this part of history. Google it, if you didn't either! ;-)
Ms. B
Mar 13, 2012 Ms. B rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, historical, 2012
". . . you got a mess of trouble coming to your door.". "Bad times a-comin." These are only a couple of the warnings given out by 11 year-old Moses's grandmother Boo Nanny in this story about the events leading up to the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.
The story is slow for the first 50 pages or so before it becomes a page turner as Boo Nanny gives out more and more ominous warnings to Moses and his parents, a successful black alderman and a light-skinned Negro woman.

I ran across this title when I was looking through a Scholastic book club flyer. When I saw that it was based on true events that happened in Wilmington, NC in the years of reconstruction, I bought 6 copies so I could use the book for a literature study. Though I hadn't read it, I hoped it would work well to give students better perspective and understanding of this time in history.

In Crow by Barbara Wright, we are introduced to Moses Thomas, an African American boy living in the thriving Black

Britney Ou
May 22, 2015 Britney Ou rated it really liked it
The title of this book is "Crow" by Barbara Wright. The key characters in this book is Moses Thomas and his family, Moses lived in Wilmington, separated from the white families. The main event in this book is that Moses and his family are going through problem with the whites, the people there live in the same place but the whites want to cleared out the colored families.The central idea of this book is to show the reader that the colored and the whites can lived together in one area even if th ...more
Feb 09, 2015 Emilee rated it really liked it
This book is about a charming African American boy who lives in Wilmington, North Carolina. It’s a coming of age story. It’s set right after the emancipation Proclamation. His father works for a black newspaper. His mother works for a white family as a maid. Boo Nanny his grandmother lives with them. She is a former slave and loves to tell stories of her slave days. The upcoming election creates tension between the white and black communities because blacks feel they have the right to vote. The ...more
Anna Lee
Sep 14, 2014 Anna Lee rated it it was amazing
In 1898, Wilmington's population was majority black, and the city government was headed by republicans. However, that year also brought a coup d'état that resulted in the burning of a prominent African American newspaper and the death of up to 60 people. This novel tells the story of 1898 Wilmington through the eyes of a 12 year old boy. The novel allows us to get to know the main character, Moses, through a series of vignettes before jumping into the main story of racial intolerance and bravery ...more
One Sentence Review: Some books fade from your memory as you get further away from reading them while others, like in the case of this book, only grow stronger and more powerful in your mind as time passes.
This fictional account of the Wilmington Massacre is an emotionally difficult book to read, especially as the white mob mentality begins challenging and destroying the blacks' lives, homes and businesses. Moses lives with his Boo Nanny and parents (mother is a house maid, father writes for the black newspaper). He is a typical boy, hanging out with friends, splashing in the creek, etc., but his educated father wants more for him, to be strong in his convictions and pursue his schooling. Moses do ...more
Edward Sullivan
Outstanding historical fiction about a little-known race riot in Wilmington, North Carolina at the turn of the century with vividly drawn characters and setting. A powerful portrait of racism.
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Barbara Wright grew up in North Carolina and has lived in France, Korea, and El Salvador. Her novels include Crow (Random House) Easy Money (Algonquin) and Plain Language (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), which won a Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. She has worked as a fact checker for Esquire Magazine and as a screenwriter. She lives in Denver with her husband and plays tennis and ...more
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