REVIEW OF:  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Reviewed by: Rachel

The first day of school.  That’s the way the book Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry starts out. I know that when you see the word school, it automatically makes you want to stop reading!  However, if I were you, I would keep reading this story. For in this novel you will find that school is not as boring as you might think.  Cassie is a young African American girl who yearns to be treated fairly by her peers.  Cassie and her 3 brothers walk to school every morning, every day, but little do they know that a lot more than just little walks is in store for them.  Cassie’s family has lived on and owned their land for three generations, but when Cassie’s mother loses her job, and her father gets injured, this land of theirs slowly starts to slide away from their grasp.  Will they be able to keep their land and escape from the harsh treatment that the white people give them?  Let’s just say that the ending of this novel may not be what you are expecting.

Overall, this book was a very interesting and informational novel about the period of time after the ending of slavery in the United States.  I did enjoy reading this book, but at times it could get very slow.   For instance, during the middle of the book there was a period of time when all that the characters were doing was going to school and coming home. However, as more and more tension was being built between the characters, the action did start to increase. This book did provide me with  more information and helped me understand the way that the two different people groups treated each other during the Great Depression. Cassie has to face many trials because accusations against her and her family throughout the novel.  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry did have some slow parts, but this novel ended up being enjoyable and intellectual.

I feel that girls and boys everywhere would enjoy reading this book.  However, there is some mild violence in the novel, so I would say that ages 10 and up would be appropriate. This book has some mature content that younger kids wouldn’t be able to grasp as easily as the older ones. I hope that whoever reads this novel will enjoy it as much as I did.