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Crow

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,152 ratings  ·  198 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 118 books — 1,165 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 — 6 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,988)
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Londa
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
...more
Barb Middleton
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
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Wendy
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
...more
Sheri
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
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Laura
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
...more
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
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Cara Lee
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
Mike
"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
...more
Chelsea
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
Heather
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
Ryan
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
Diane
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
...more
Kelsey Barbour
HISTORICAL FICTION

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
...more
Alexander Davidson
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
...more
Kristin
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
". . . 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.
Britney Ou
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
Emilee
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
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
Amy Rae
This one took me a while to get through, and I'm not sure why. My thoughts on it are pretty mixed, is probably why--on the one hand, the writing was fine, but on the other hand, I was bothered by some aspects of the book.

On the one hand, I liked that the author portrayed an economically diverse African-American population. I really liked Moses, our main character, and his strong relationship with his family was sweet and well-written. The scene in which his father buys his mother an organ, for i
...more
Yesha Naik
So far, I'm Loving this book!!!

For a thoughtful review check out Darien Library's review, by claire - http://www.darienlibrary.org/children...
Jennifer
While the story of the riot was wonderfully told, it just took way too long to get there. It shouldn't take 100+ pages to get to the actual story of a book.
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.
Andrew
Although I am glad that this period in American history is being discussed, the writing reads like "required reading." This novel seems to have been manufactured for classroom use and I think that is a bad thing. I think that just puts kids off reading eventually. Furthermore, Wright begins to explore worthwhile ideas and often doesn't follow through. I'm glad this book exists if only for the chance for something better to come along about this era.

For my 50 States Challenge, this is my North C
...more
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
I am so glad I listened to Crow! I didn't even know that there were race riots in Wilmington in 1898, or that it was the only successful coup d'etat in U.S. history, and I really want to know more!

What I really like about this book is that it takes place a generation after the Civil War. As far as civil rights and politics go, it's definitely an unusual time period- at least, in my experience with middle grade/YA historical fiction. I really love it when historical fiction focuses on something I
...more
Doret
Set in 1898 North Carolina, only a generation after the end of slavery and before the Grandfather clause was used. 11 yr old Moses dad is an elected official and a proud Republican, supporting the party of the president that ended slavery. Moses looks up to his dad who works at the only Black newspaper. Moses is also very close this grandmother, Boo Nanny who never learned to read or write but she still as a lot to teach Moses. When Boo Nanny and the dad butt heads Moses as learned to stay out o ...more
Carol Royce Owen
This book started out slow for me, but then picked up midway. It is written about an incident in history that I knew nothing about, which always gets me a little irked at my high school education that would teach us a lot about the Civil War then jump directly to WW1, with little in between.

Crow is about a Negro 11 year old boy named Moses, son of a college educated father who is a journalist for Wilmington's only Negro newspaper and a very light skinned mother maid to a wealthy white family. T
...more
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here.

Who out there knew there was a race riot in Wilmington, NC in 1898? If you did not know this and you have never set foot in NC then that is understandable. I however lived in NC for 10 years and didn't know. I took a class on NC history in college and IT NEVER CAME UP. I want my money back. My husband was born and raised in NC and he didn't know either. Thankfully Barbara Writght wrote Crow so hopefully more people will be aware of this interesting event in the history of
...more
Shazzer
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

Sometimes (more often than not, it seems), history can be a little dicey. The course of human events is rarely neat and perfectly packaged. We’re messy people, and our history reflects that. Historical fiction thrives on our messiness and our mistakes. We love to read about people who rise above their situations and survive the tides of history. One such story is that of young Moses, in Barbara Wright’s Crow. His journey through a rather unfortunate chapter in Ameri
...more
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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
More about Barbara Wright...
Plain Language Easy Money

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