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Crow

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,028 ratings  ·  277 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 sym…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)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,028 ratings  ·  277 reviews


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Londa
Feb 08, 2014 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
...more
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 15, 2012 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
...more
Jelly12
Feb 26, 2016 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.
Elena
Nov 05, 2017 added it
Shelves: ya
Ever heard of the "Wilmington Insurrection of 1898?" I hadn't until I read this book. In 1898 white supremacists/Democrats went on the rampage, overthrowing the elected government (which included several Black citizens) of the city of Wilmington, North Carolina in a coup d'etat. They mobbed and set fires and killed dozens of Black leaders and citizens and ran thousands more out of town, marking the beginning of more severe racial segregation, disenfranchisement, and Jim Crow. I def didn't realiz ...more
Rachel
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I've never read historical fiction about this time period in the South and really enjoyed learning about the post-emancipation cultural transitions. I particularly liked the generational differences in this family where the grandmother was a slave, the mother was born into slavery but freed as a baby, and the 10 year old protagonist was born free. Recommended. Listened to the audiobook. ...more
Mike
Sep 25, 2012 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
...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
Wendy
May 05, 2012 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
...more
Ms. B
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
". . . 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.
...more
Cheryl
Sep 19, 2016 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference
*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.
Softball=Life
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great story about a young boy figuring out the world in a very harsh manner.
Lilianesther
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading this story, told through the voice of a 10(ish) year old boy named Moses Thomas, was one of the most impactful events I have experienced in 2018 so far. Wright’s ability to meld historical events with non-fiction, in a way that keeps the reader intrigued, is un-dismissible. Truthfully, I have never been interested in many books about history or non-fiction, but “Crow” was not a book I could easily put down. If you’re looking for a good read about racial tension in the late 1800’s, black ...more
H. Dair
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
There's some pretty intense stuff here for elementary students, but it's so important to tell the truth about tragic events like these. The author did a good job putting human faces on the Wilmington coup d'état and ending on a surprisingly hopeful note. ...more
Ann Schaffer
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
I enjoyed this book set in Wilmington, South Carolina. The year was 1889, shortly after slavery had ended. Barbara Wright uses the voice of an invented 11-year-old boy to set the scene and to describe the a race-fueled riot that actually occurred. It is a nice little story.
AustinSnyder
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
In the Non-Fiction book "Crow", by Barbara Wright, there was a message of treat others the same as you would like to be treated, Simple but deep. In my opinion I would give this book a Three star rating because I thought it was hard to understand and get what was happening. This book took place way back when slavery was abolished only a little while ago, when blacks were being discriminated. The Main character is Moses Thomas and is faced with problems of being discriminated. In chapter four the ...more
Richie Partington
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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
Cara Lee
Sep 02, 2012 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
Frezanda
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well, I believe this book deserve to receive that award.
This event might be one of the turning point that cause more than 50 years of racial discrimination in USA (I think).
It's 1898. Some twenty years after Civil war. It was a new era for African American community. No more slavery. They were recognized as USA citizen. They can hold positions in government and study freely. It's a hopeful period. The segregation was still happening but a peace understanding between the white and black communiti
...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
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
Krista
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Ryan
Apr 09, 2012 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
Kristin
May 17, 2012 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! ;-) ...more
Ender Sword
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
it is amazing 92 stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Barbara
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great historical fiction. A must read for anyone from about 10 years old and older especially if you're familiar with Wilmington NC and race relations in the 1898 era. The back of the book has "Additional Resources for Educators" including pre-reading activites, vocabulary list, curriculum connections, and internet resources. ...more
Betsy
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.
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 jaz ...more

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