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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,564 Ratings  ·  231 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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Yin Chien 인첸 I would interpret it as symbolic:
1. Crow is black, this is a story of African Americans in North Carolina a few decades post-Civil War.
2. Black is…more
I would interpret it as symbolic:
1. Crow is black, this is a story of African Americans in North Carolina a few decades post-Civil War.
2. Black is symbolic of the dark history of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 featured in this book.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 08, 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
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.
Feb 26, 2016 Jelly12 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Barb Middleton
Nov 15, 2012 Barb Middleton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 25, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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
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
Sep 19, 2016 Cheryl marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference  ·  review of another edition
*My own reaction:* Important, but not compelling. Given the cover art, I was hoping for something more magical, not just another good but imperfect MG HF. Major Kudos to Wright, though, for covering a period, & event, in history that is much less well-known than some, but influential even today. I hope the intended audience reads this.
Feb 26, 2016 Softball=Life rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story about a young boy figuring out the world in a very harsh manner.
Richie Partington
Apr 02, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
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
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
Cara Lee
Sep 02, 2012 Cara Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Oct 20, 2016 Krista rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My son read this for Battle of the Books at school and said it was about the city we live in so I was curious and read it. It was facinating! Even though the author is white she is able to completely capture the black language and thoughts. I never knew our city had race riots in 1898! Prior to that Wilmington was progressive for the times and had blacks (one generation removed from slavery) in political and governmental positions! In the SOUTH! It angered me that the white supremacy could do so ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ms. B
Mar 11, 2012 Ms. B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 17, 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! ;-)
Ender Sword
Feb 26, 2016 Ender Sword rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it is amazing 92 stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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.
Apr 17, 2012 Yesha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far, I'm Loving this book!!!

For a thoughtful review check out Darien Library's review, by claire -
Nov 21, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, grades-6-8
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.
Edward Sullivan
Mar 16, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 26, 2016 molly03 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dec 01, 2016 Kea-Roy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of a black boy and his father going through life. With his father as the mentor, and the boy as the student, they learn many lessons together, and major themes of discrimination, injustice, crime, and judgment which all come together in this amazingly crafted book. If you like to read realistic fiction pieces or just very emotional stories, this book is perfect for you.
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
This book was not bad but not very memorable. An average book.
Alicia Carlsen
Oct 18, 2016 Alicia Carlsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great middle grade book dealing with real events that made me sick to think how some people did (and still do) think about and treat others. This book has even more meaning as we are nearing another election time which will hopefully be peaceful unlike the one represented in the book.
These days, it seems like the only genres I read are YA dystopian novels and middle-grade historical fiction about African-American and white race relations. This falls into the latter category, but it's interesting because it doesn't take place in the 1960s or 50s, like a lot of books I've read, but in 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina. For those familiar with the race riots and civil rights marches of the 1950s and 60s, it would be easy to think that the Jim Crow laws sprung up immediately fo ...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...

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