Nicole Lindsey's Reviews > Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
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Dec 14, 12

bookshelves: english-420
Read in September, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I LOVED this book! It was an excellent description of a black family living soon after slavery ended in the United States. Through the eyes of a 9-year-old girl, Cassie, you see the injustice as whites get whatever they want and blacks are forced to wait. Cassie's father, David, is gone all summer working on the railroad, but he sends a VERY large man to stay with his family and protect them. They have a friend, TJ, who is constantly lying throughout the book and ends up getting in serious trouble towards the end. Cassie's mother, a school teacher, ends up getting fired because of some things that TJ told the wrong group of people. A side story in the book involves Cassie and a white girl, Lillian Jean. Cassie's embarrassed by her in the city once, and then afterwards decides to take revenge by being overly nice to her, carrying her books, etc., and then learning her secrets. One day Cassie attacks her, but tells her that if she says anything, Cassie will tell all of Lillian Jean's secrets. The family survives in the best way they can, with the land that they own being one of the most important things to them, but it caught on fire in the last scene of the book in order to protect TJ from being hung by the KKK.

Taylor doesn't sugarcoat anything in this book. By speaking through a 9-year-old narrator, she does limit the harshness of the prejudice somewhat (Cassie doesn't understand everything that's going on), but the effects of this prejudice are very apparent. She helps readers make decision on their own as to the events that happen in the book, but doesn't tell the story in an extremely negative way. The family in the book aren't always the "victims," and you see misdeeds but also kindness on both sides, thus allowing the reader to get a clearer and somewhat less-biased version of the story than is generally told. I would recommend this book for an audience aged 11 and up.
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