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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

(Logans #4)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  116,490 ratings  ·  5,378 reviews
Why is the land so important to Cassie's family? It takes the events of one turbulent year—the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she's black—to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family's lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride—no matter how othe ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Puffin Books (first published October 1st 1976)
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Franco No way. We teach it as a core novel in our middle school for 6th graders. It's well-written in terms of character development, setting and plot. Thema…moreNo way. We teach it as a core novel in our middle school for 6th graders. It's well-written in terms of character development, setting and plot. Thematically it is rich and will always be relevant in the US. (less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  116,490 ratings  ·  5,378 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
Read for an Aries inspired vlog ...more
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Set in Mississippi during the Great Depression, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a searing portrait of family and self-worth. Every child deserves to know Taylor's firebrand protagonist, Cassie Logan, and experience her untiring battle against social injustices and racism.
Apr 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every American child
I first was exposed to this book in fifth grade and I have to say, it changed me forever. The struggles young Cassie Logan and her family faced as a strong black family in the Jim Crow south were eye opening to me. I guess as a child, until I read this book, I thought there was slavery and then there was freedom. This book taught me that there was a LOT of gray in between and it made me angry to know that there really wasn't justice and equality for everyone in my country, the way it was "suppos ...more
Jul 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
when i was little, i would get dropped off at the library in lieu of daycare, particularly in the summer when there were programs for kids without friends. so how, if i spent my childhood in a library, HOW did i miss out on so many classics of children's literature?? just what was it i was reading?? (answer: mostly lois duncan) but this book is great, really. i have learned to respect the newbery award—except for The Black Pearl (which is just a newbery honor, but still) this book could be repub ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I ain't nobody's little nigger!"

The above sentence was hurled in anger by Cassie Logan, a young girl growing up with her strong, loving family in Mississippi at the height of the Depression. It wasn't the first time I cheered aloud for her spirit and bravery, and it wasn't the last. The Logan family may seem to be at the mercy of the local white folks, but they're not going down without a fight.

Her mother attempts to explain to Cassie the facts:

"How come Mr. Simms went and pushed me like he
Wow. I read this when I was a kid but reading it now... it's a different experience. Every day I watch videos of white people, emboldened BY Trump's presidency, calling Black people niggers or telling minorities to go back where they came from... and while I was reading this, I just felt a quiet sort of rage.

Mildred Taylor has created a family that isn't the damn Cosby show. They are a simple unit, happy and content, but not unaware of what's going on around them. They are aware of the white pe
Kellyn Roth
Updated Notes:

It is now 2020. Though I have little to no memory of this book, it was my opinion that it featured characters who were little more than cardboard-cut stereotypes and who did not respond realistically given their backgrounds and given the situations they were put in.

I can see how it might have an impact on some people - it only served to frustrate me deeply. It did make me do some serious research, and it encouraged me to want to find and promote better stories on the subject. So ye
Alissa Patrick
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an important piece of work. You know it's worth reading when it's a Banned Book.
“Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” made the American Library Association most challenged book in 2002. Some cases where “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” was banned or challenged: **1993: A Louisiana high school removed it from its reading list because of “racial bias.”Mar 24, 2014

This book is about family and the strong ties that bind them, as well as racism in America during the Great Depression. It takes place in M
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It's definitely a must read for everyone. Here are a couple of my favorite quotations from the book:

(During a conversation between Cassie and her mother after Cassie is treated horribly by Lillian Jean Simms and her father):

"I didn't say that Lillian Jean is better than you. I said Mr. Simms only thinks she is. In fact, he thinks she's better than Stacey or Little Man or Christopher-John--"

"Just 'cause she's his daughter?" I asked, beginning to think Mr. Simms was a bit touche
Kimberly Dawn
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Set in Mississippi during the Great Depression, this must-read book has excellent storytelling and still feels extremely relevant. The dialogue does not feel dated, and its theme of racism is sadly, still very much alive.

Cassie Logan is only nine years old, but she is fierce, having been raised to have self-respect and dignity. She is fiercely loyal to her family members, which include her hardworking papa and schoolteacher mama, her grandma, and her three brothers. We all can learn from such a
This has been on our family book shelf f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Sorry I took so long to actually read it. It is marvelous! The main protagonist, nine-year old Cassie Logan, is also the delightful narrator. Excellent, if not sobering way to introduce middle schoolers+ to racism in America in the 1930s.

I cannot help wondering what kind of equivalent book will be written about our era for the young people of tomorrow...
May 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kyungnan Gam
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry' is a book about racism in America during the Great Depression. During reading this book, it made me feel anxious that the idea of racism, judgment, criticism, and stereotypes are existing in our society. I feel bad for the people who are considered different from us just by how they look, what their race is, and what their skin color is. I wish that it will be gone forever. With a sudden flash, BOOM. NO RACISM. Everyone is treated fairly. Everyone is equal. That's ...more
Demetrius Rogers
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a great story, set to the context of the segregated South. I read this to my kids and, as a half black man, I was proud to expose them to such an important segment of our history. I grew up largely in a white community, and now so do my kids. So to have a portal into the the American Negro past was truly a blessing. I'm proud to have an African-American descent and I want them to be as well, or at least gain awareness and a sense of solidarity with their forebears.

All of us loved the story.
Saskia B
Mar 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
I truly had high hopes for this book, as it is highly recommended. However, I am completely dissatisfied by the whole story. The whole story is against racism, and yet all whites are evil and racist except for a few exceptions, and all blacks are hardworking and good except for a few exceptions. The characters are all boring and one sided, and has little to no character development. All the characters are so similar that you get mixed up with who’s who. Also, there was too much description. WE D ...more
Cindy Rollins
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a tremendously beautiful story. By the time it ends you feel like you know every single character. I hated to say goodbye to the Logans but I am also afraid to read the other stories in case they are not as good. Truly important book which continually made me ask myself, "Would I have done that if I grew up in that culture?" It is a scary question. ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry twice in elementary school, I had no idea of the maturity of the themes and depth of the situations the Logans had to endure.

Now, in my mid-20s, I can appreciate this gem for what it is. Besides the superb writing, the thing that stands out to me about this book is the theme of sacrifice as part of everyday life for Black folks in Depression-era Mississippi. Children taking turns getting new shoes, going without the comfort food you love so much in order
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very exciting and sad.
Why did the civil war even have to happen
Chris Thompson
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Mildred D. Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, on its surface, seems to be a response to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. They're both similar in their setting and their themes. While a major theme in both is racism in the Jim Crow-era South, they tackle this theme from different perspectives. Harper Lee's heroine is a young white girl, and Mildred D. Taylor's young heroine is a young black girl. To Kill a Mockingbird was written 16 years earlier than Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and perh ...more
Deacon Tom F
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Lovely Story

Mildred Taylor has hit a home run with book. It is the recipient of numerous awards and deserves every one.

Beth Knight
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, own-it
Another reread for me. Given to me as a gift from a friend of my parents, I first read this when I had just turned 13. Although I didn't remember a lot of details (37 years have passed since I read it) I do remember loving the characters, especially Cassie and Little Man. I also remember being incredulous that people were treated in such an awful way just because of the color of their skin. Although I consider myself to have been somewhat naive back then, and also a late bloomer, I grew up in a ...more
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
In this award-winning novel for young people, all the black people (with possibly one exception) are honest, kind, hardworking, ambitious, intelligent, and good looking. All the white people (with one or two exceptions) are cruel, dishonest, malevolent rednecks, who persecute the "colored people" for no reason at all. Historically, the Jim Crow era wasn’t all smiles and sassafrass tea, but there were good and bad people on both sides of the street, just like now. In our current climate of politi ...more
3.5 stars

Having just finished The Help for the 2nd time, I was already in a place to appreciate this book, and for the most part, I did appreciate it.

The Help takes place in the early 60's in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early stages of the Civil Rights movement. It's a very personal story about 3 women struggling with who they are, both in general and in the environment in which they live. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry takes place in the 30's just outside of Jackson, MS, and deals with a lo
Neil R. Coulter
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Mildred Taylor is a fantastic storyteller. I had previously read Song of the Trees, a short book that tells a story that comes just before the events of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It's an intriguing and rather haunting book. But in Roll of Thunder, Taylor has more space to build a very powerful story of daily life and racism in Mississippi in the Great Depression. I imagine that there are few reviews of this book that don't also mention To Kill a Mockingbird. The settings and events have a lo ...more
Mississippi Library Commission
It's amazing to us that this book is forty years old. It's as powerful and relevant now as it was in 1976, perhaps even more so.
White is something just like black is something. Everybody born on this earth is something and nobody, no matter what color, is better than anybody else.
From their love of the land to their love of one another and their fellow man, the Logans are a family that you need to spend time with. Highly recommended, even if (especially if) you've read it before.
One of the better representations of systemic racism I can think of -- and bonus points for it not having a tidy ending!

One of the most frustrating aspects of teaching to my students in 2020 (comprising of mainly white and Asian students) is that they genuinely believe we live in a post-racist world (fools!). Many genuinely believe "I have a Dream" was the beginning of the end of racism. So much of our culture is predicated on closet racism, micro-expressions, and re-labelling of racist policies
Cassie Logan doesn't understand why possessing land means so much to her family, nor does she realize that so many of the white people around her think she's inferior to them. Then the night riders appear, threatening the black people in her community with tar and feathers and burning, and Cassie herself is humiliated by a white girl. Taylor's depiction of the moral choices the Logans must make is complex: though they may want to resist (and Cassie does several times), there's a fine and dangero ...more
2018 re-read -- dang, it's just as amazing and addictive as when I read it the first time. This time around, I thought about all the ways in which things are still the same or how injustice has transformed. Cassie and her fam are so heartwarming and funny and I love them.

I partially re-read this because Angie Thomas said it was one if her childhood faves and the Logan fam definitely reminds me of the Carters.

I think Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is the best book title ever btw. I remember this
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really really enjoyed this book... until the end. I'm certain that it was realistic, but still! How depressing. I really disliked T.J. from the start, and didn't know what Stacey liked him. All in all, this was pretty good history-wise, (as far as I could tell) but not enjoyment-wise. ...more
Susy  *MotherLambReads*
Mar 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Baby, we have no choice of what color we're born or who our parents are or whether we're rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we're here.”

I give it a 5!
Littles gave it a 4. I asked them why... they said because they didn't like how the story ended with TJ!

"What had happened to T.J. in the night I did not understand, but I knew that it would not pass. And I cried for those things which had happened in the night and would not pass.”

This book has given m
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Mildred DeLois Taylor is an African-American writer known for her works exploring the struggle faced by African-American families in the Deep South.

Taylor was born in Jackson, Mississippi, but lived there only a short amount of time, then moved to Toledo, Ohio, where she spent most of her childhood. She now lives in Colorado with her daughter.

Many of her works are based on stories of her family t

Other books in the series

Logans (8 books)
  • The Land (Logans, #1)
  • The Well: David's Story (Logans, #2)
  • Song of the Trees (Logans, #3)
  • Let the Circle Be Unbroken (Logans, #5)
  • The Road to Memphis (Logans, #6)
  • The Gold Cadillac (Logans, #7)
  • All the Days Past, All the Days to Come (Logans #8)

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Quinceañeras are supposed to be joyous affairs that celebrate a girl’s 15th birthday with family, laughter, and good food. But for Lydia Perez and...
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“There are things you can't back down on, things you gotta take a stand on. But it's up to you to decide what them things are. You have to demand respect in this world, ain't nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for--that's how you gain respect. But, little one, ain't nobody's respect worth more than your own.” 85 likes
“Baby, we have no choice of what color we're born or who our parents are or whether we're rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we're here.” 64 likes
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