Crow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Crow

by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  954 ratings  ·  190 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
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Crow, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Crow

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
19th out of 119 books — 1,085 voters
Wonder by R.J. PalacioSmile by Raina TelgemeierIt's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa SchroederThe Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick RiordanBecause of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
Best Middle Grade Novels from Summer Reading 2012
30th out of 66 books — 59 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,475)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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
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.
Potassium
This is the story of Moses who is 11 in North Carolina right before the Jim Crow laws begin.

While I think this is a period in US history that needs to be talked about (apparently people didn't start looking into this period until 2006!), I felt that there were some epic flaws in the telling of this story: first- each chapter was a series of vignettes. It made the layout of the book awkward to read (why even have chapters at all?!). Second- Moses is hiding in bushes and trees a lot so the story...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...
Melanie
Moses Thomas lives in very confusing times. Yes, the Emancipation Proclamation has been issued; but that doesn't mean that everyone is going to honor it. For example, the purveyor of the local general store isn't going to give him the prize even though Moses' advertisement is the best entry for the bicycle ad campaign. Things only get worse after the editor of his father's paper issues an editorial that sets the city on edge.

Race fights break out and everyone is on edge. Moses' father, a highly...more
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
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
Ms. Yingling
Wright, Barbara. Crow.
Moses has a good life in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1898. His father is an alderman and a reporter for the African American newspaper, his mother does cleaning work to earn extra money for the family, and his grandmother, Boo Nanny, takes good care of him. He has friends, and enjoys his life of freedom, knowing that his mother was born into slavery but freed when she was very young. When the newspaper publishes an op ed piece stating that if it is okay for white men to f...more
Emmet O'Neal Library- Children's Department
Moses and his parents and grandmother live in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the turn of the 20th century. His mother and grandmother make money keeping house and doing laundry, while his father writes for a newspaper and serves as an elected member of the city council. Moses has a vague understanding that his family has seen struggle he can never comprehend, both from slavery and from post-Civil War prejudice, but now Wilmington seems like a place where different races can live and work next to...more
Susan  A Garr
Crow, by Barbara Wright told from the point of view of rising 6th grader, Moses Thomas, shares the story of people, a time and place in American History unknown to many of us. In 1890’s Wilmington, North Carolina, post Civil War, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments seem to be on their way to creating a more free and just society. White Republican farmers and African Americans formed a coalition known as the Fusion movement to try and establish an interracial democracy in the state. The story open...more
Melissa
Definitely a book for higher level 5th graders, but might be a good choice for a class read-aloud. A fictious account (told through the eyes of 6th grade Moses) of the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.

"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 te...more
Rachael Stein
Crow is a singularly effective piece of historical fiction. It both captures and transcends the time and place it describes, and I think structure and pacing are key to its effectiveness.

It begins with a portent - "The buzzard knew." From there, though, it moves on to paint an episodic, leisurely portrait of a way of life that seems idyllic compared to what is to come. Moses's concerns, for the most part, are the concerns of any sixth grade boy: will he get a bicycle? Will he lose his best frien...more
Laura
Moses, an 11-year-old boy living in Wilmington, North Carolina, is growing up in the beginning of the Jim Crow south. His father, a newspaper reporter, and his mother, a domestic worker, try their best to protect their son from the harsh realities of a world still very much defined by slavery and the Civil War. Boo Nanny, Moses' former slave grandmother, lends an endearing and colorful narrative to Moses' world.

Many of the chapters serve as stand alone stories. Moses follows his adventurous spi...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 82 83 next »
  • No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller
  • The Unfortunate Son
  • The Lions of Little Rock
  • A Diamond in the Desert
  • P.S. Be Eleven (Gaither Sisters, #2)
  • Glory Be
  • Jump into the Sky
  • Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship
  • Katerina's Wish
  • We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March
  • The Mighty Miss Malone
  • Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution
  • Twelve Kinds of Ice
  • Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad
  • May B.
  • A Black Hole Is Not a Hole
  • Summer of the Gypsy Moths
  • Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95
6436329
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

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »