*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred D. Taylor

Title: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Author: Mildred D. Taylor
Have I Read it Before: yes

This is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. Cassie and her family know a thing or two about how rough life can be. Her father is off working for the railroad to help make ends meet and her mother is a teacher. She and her three brothers help around the house. The family is determined to keep the land that they own, no matter what troubles they face. This novel is set in the 1930's, a time that was difficult for most Americans, but even more difficult for black Americans. The Logan family faces discrimination at almost every turn but by sticking together, they will overcome all obstacles.

I will never forget the first time I read this book. I was in the fifth grade and specifically picked this book because it was within my Accelerated Reading level. I remember that I struggled with it a little because the dialogue is written in such a way that is very true to how the characters would have spoken, but as this was something new to me, I really had to focus to understand the text. But despite this, I kept reading and absolutely loved the book. I vividly remember the day that I took it back the (school) library and the librarian seemed almost upset by the fact that I had enjoyed this book. I was only ten at the time, and didn't seek out why she was unhappy. To this day I have no idea what her problem was, but that moment has always stuck with me. In a way, I think it made me love the book even more because I sought out other titles by Taylor because the stubborn part of me wanted to annoy her further. While I haven't enjoyed everything I have ready by Taylor, I certainly enjoyed Let the Circle Be Unbroken and The Road to Memphis, which follow Cassie and her family.

At times, this is a difficult book. The subject matter is very serious and may not appeal to younger readers. It is definitely a book that would be well paired with some non-fiction titles covering that time in history. I did not learn about this era in school until several years after I had read the book so I didn't really comprehend the magnitude of the problems the Logans faced until much late, something that as an adult I kind of regret. As a kid, I didn't really seek out the historical elements of the books I read something I really wish I had done now that I am older and see how beneficial this could have been. I very highly recommend this book, but realize that it won't appeal to all readers. At times is is a difficult read,but I think it will a beneficial book to all that finish it.

Happy Reading!

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