EDUC 567 Children's Lit discussion

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry > Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Reflection

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message 1: by Ritsa (new)

Ritsa Mallous | 35 comments Mod

message 2: by Erika (new)

Erika Kiser | 12 comments I really enjoyed reading Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry from an African American personal point of view instead of a neutral historical view. It really brought this part of history to life for me, as this was my first time reading the book. The books seems difficult to pin down for a specific age group because of the violence, but it would probably be best read in a middle school classroom in conjunction with a similar history topic. Apart from the obvious historical perspective, I think there is a lot that can be learned from the characters. I appreciated the character Jeremy who was a white child that walked to school and was friends with Cassie and her brothers. Although he came from a white family at odds with African Americans (particularly those they viewed as stepping out of line by practicing their freedom), Jeremy valued the Logan family and was able to see past their color unlike his family. I think Jeremy's character represents that doing what is right is not always easy but it is important and can make a big difference. I also enjoyed seeing the strong family ties in this book through the ways the Logans looked after their own family and their friends. This is a great book that is able to bring to life the oppression African Americans faced in the 20th century and before. It can serve to get students thinking about what racism looks like today and to realize that although it is not as extreme, it still exists. The book also teaches great virtues that students should be encouraged to replicate.

message 3: by Mary (new)

Mary Kathryn | 12 comments Although I had read this book before and generally knew what it was about, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it for the second time. I was afraid it would take me a while to get through the book, but it ended up not taking me long at all because I was so interested about what was going to happen. I also think that this book is hard to place with a certain age group, but I think I would have middle school aged children reading this book at the same time they are studying racial injustices that our country has engaged in. I liked how it made the history of that time come alive because for me, reading a history book is not going to help me learn too much. This book, however, made this part of history become alive in a way that I could relate to. A child might not really understand the concept of racism, but it is hard for a child reading this book not to understand the horrible things that were done. Although it can be graphic and violent at times, I think this book explains our past better than a textbook does. I really liked the character Jeremy because although he was white, he enjoyed walking to school with Cassie and her brothers. Reading this book from a white person's perspective made me upset about the way my race has acted in the past, so it was nice to see that there were people like Jeremy willing to reach out to those who were oppressed. Although this book is banned in many places due to the racial injustices, I think it is a valuable book for children to read so that we do not end up forgetting our past.

message 4: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Sexton | 8 comments I loved reading Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry again. I read in maybe 6th grade and was really impacted by it then as I still am today. It is a great account of family and community and sends an important message about the two. Although some of the violence may be emotional for young readers, it is a book that I feel wold benefit students in learning about the harsh reality of racism and the history that is a part of our country. We had a great discussion on our group with some great questions addressed. We talked about the book being on the banned book list and weighed both sides of that argument. The most of us felt, for the appropriate age, it is a great book for students to read. Reading the book along with a history lesson may be a good way to present the book and a way that a teacher could back themselves up if faced with a parents concern, because it is history. Overall I really did enjoy experiencing this book again. I still remember really liking it the first time that read and feeling sad and compassionate for the characters in the book. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry is a book all students should have the opportunity to experience.

message 5: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 12 comments I enjoyed getting the chance to reread Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. The entire time I read it I was anxious, because I knew something bad happened near the end, I just could not remember exactly what and who was affected. I just remembered there was a fire involved and Cassie was left unsure of what was to come. I really feel like there is a lot of value in this book. It appears to be more reasonable to think that middle school aged children should read this because of the strong themes and difficulties it discusses. This book provides a unique perspective on what the time was like from a point of view not often covered. It was great to see Cassie's side of things and how it bothered her that people treated African Americans like that and how terrible times were. You could see that Cassie did not feel like Whites in the community had a right to treat her family and other African Americans the way they did. I felt like it was really hard for Cassie to cope with this, and I understand that she should not have had to. It brings up a lot of emotions when I read how awful people treated others back then just because of the color of their skin. It makes me grateful that times have changed, but I feel like the lessons are still valuable and necessary to discuss with students. It was refreshing to read about Jeremy who did not feel like the rest of his family and who enjoyed spending time with the Logans. He provided a glimmer of hope that relations between various races could be fine if people just looked past physical features. During that time racism was at the root of all relations, and Jeremy was a good contradiction to that. Also, I felt like regardless of how sad the ending was without any clear sign that TJ would be fine and that people would learn to understand each other, there was hope present. The community came together to put out the fire, showing they could all work as one. Cassie's father chose to sacrifice some of his precious land and crop to stop the violence that might have ensued. It was very powerful and showed the importance of putting aside differences for the sake of what is right. Another part I really enjoyed was the family bond between all the Logans. It was clear how much they all loved and cared for each other and that they only wanted what was best. The respect was moving and showed the importance of family in such difficult times and situations. Overall, I feel like this book provides many powerful learning tools. It covers a time that is important to learn about in order to see how far we've come as well as how far we need to go. It shows a different point of view than we are used to seeing when these times are discussed. And it also could spark many good discussions. It was a very emotional and eye-opening story, one that I feel is important for students to encounter at some point in their reading career.

message 6: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 11 comments I had never read Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry before, but I absolutely loved it. This novel is definitely one that could pull students into history in a way that lectures and textbooks never could. The novel’s characters are relatable which makes the book and its content also more accessible. History like that of the African American struggle with slavery and prejudice is vital to students’ education, and if books like Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry are part of the curriculum then students will not only learn about this period in American History but also become more curious to learn about other aspects of history. I would recommend reading this book in seventh or eighth grade, and pairing it with a history lesson. Journaling would also be a worthwhile activity to gage how students felt about the book’s themes and lessons—and if the journals brought up interesting things to discuss, then group activities would also be helpful. This novel can open up some of our more painful aspects of American history, and explain how America has (arguably) progressed to where we are today.

message 7: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 13 comments This was my second time reading this book and I still thoroughly enjoyed it. In our group discussion most of us came to the agreement that this would be a good book for mid-late Middle School children to read alongside a history lesson of this time period. While this book is on the banned book list, a lot of us said that we thought it was a great book to read in the classroom because it is written from a personal African American perspective, the strongest viewpoint possible from this era, and it really opens your eyes to the extent of treatment, cruelty, and hardships that many faced. While it may cause controversy among parents, I think it is important to have your reasoning for reading this book and stick with it. It is important for parents to know that while we don’t need to dwell on the past and not move forward, we need to recognize it, teach it, and not try to cover up what truly happened. I really liked that in the end, the community as a whole came together to put the fire out.

message 8: by Brianna (new)

Brianna | 10 comments I loved this book when I read it in the 5th grade, and I am really glad that I was able to read it again. I had forgotten about how vivid the descriptions are in the book, but the details make Taylor successful in depicting the struggles of the time period. I think this book would work best in a middle school setting. You could also use this book in a 5th grade class, but it would have to be with only a certain portion of the class to make up for varying maturity levels. Growing up, I didn't realize how much suffering some people had to endure, especially children my own age. This was one of the first books that started opening my eyes to the pain that others have endured. I think that books like Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry are excellent to use in the classroom because they bring lessons to life. It is really easy to numb yourself to a sentence out of the textbook talking about a horrific event, but when you read the emotion of a character experiencing the event firsthand, it brings the entire situation to life.

message 9: by Raven (new)

Raven Tate | 10 comments I enjoyed reading this book as well as being the discussion leader. I feel that my group did an awesome job at looking beyond the surface of the text.
I think that this is a great book that should probably not be read until late middle school. It has a lot of controversial issues within and I think that with such, we have to make it relevant to our students. As mentioned in class, we thought it a good idea to introduce this book when we talked about these issues in a history lesson that corresponds. This way, students and parents could see the relevancy of the novel.
Although this is an emotional book, I feel it is an important one for all students to see how far things have come for us (Americans as a whole)and allow them to see that the world is not this perfect cookie cutter place (although it is not today either). I just feel that after this book is read, it may cause them to appreciate their situations more.
This book also teaches some lessons, such as the importance of family and friends.
I feel that students would learn a great deal from it!

message 10: by Carly (new)

Carly Elliott | 9 comments I really enjoyed Roll of Thunder especially as this is the third time I have read it. I was not nearly as shocked at the graphic, racial violence as I was in elementary school. I believe this is because this novel was the first time I was introduced to racism, violence and the negative aspects of American history. Roll of Thunder is a great way to introduce that part of American history to a early middle school audience because it allows the reader to form a personal relationship with the characters and therefore take more from the historical aspect of the novel. This book would be great to be taught in conjuncture with a history segment on racism, sharecropping, ect as it brings all these topics to the forefront. The topics in the novel while making it great for historical education also cause controversy with parents. The graphic nature of the novel is just in describing true events in American history. Racism occurred, burnings, lynchings occurred and it is a teachers job to educate young minds on the realities of the world. This could be combated through sending a letter home to parents, meeting individually with parents that rise concerns and in extreme cases offering alternative readings.
Overall, I believe Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry is an important book for students to read because of its literary and historical aspects.

message 11: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Koonce | 3 comments This was my second time reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and I loved it again! I remember liking it so much when I was in middle school that I ended up reading the whole series. I don't remember what happened in the series because it was so long ago, but I do remember that I liked it. What I did not remember was how dramatic and sometimes violent the book was. While I can see how it might be slightly traumatizing for a kid to read in elementary school, I do not think it is violent to the extent that it should be banned. I think it gives kids a realistic depiction of what racism was like back in that time. Although some people may debate me on this, I believe history is important for kids to learn, and it should not be hidden from them. This is a part of history, and should not be hidden from kids because their parents thinks it's too "scary". I sincerely hope that this book is removed from the banned book lists wherever it is on them.

message 12: by Katherine (new)

Katherine | 11 comments Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry was a book that I would highly recommend for the classroom. Although it involves a lot of sensitive subjects I feel like the author addresses the topics in such a way that highlights the realities of the events that occured during the civil rights movements in a realistic, personal manner. It gives actual names and personalities to the people that were affected by the events of segregation and the way that people were treated which I think is beneficial for young readers. The book is an engaging story with relatable characters and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would highly recommend it to teachers for their classrooms!

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