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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred D. Taylor

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      17.09.2012 08:12
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      A great book I would read again.

      This review is also on my ciao account under the username alexcatt97. "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred Taylor is about life for a young black girl in Mississippi in the 1930's. The 1930's was a hard time for black people because of the depression and racism which had caused horrific crimes such as hangings, lynching's and burnings. My favourite parts are where Little man rejects the book and were they all created a trap for the bus. These are favourite parts as it gives out a message that black people should be able to freely express their rights. A reason why the book is so interesting is because it uses so many ways of engaging the reader. In my opinion i think it is great that there is a book that tells people how life was in the 1930's in America. For example the author includes interesting characters and describes them perfectly. The author describes Little man by saying "Always meticulously neat, six year old Little man never allowed dirt or tears or stains to mar anything he owned. Today was no exception." By describing Little man the readers can imagine what he looks like as he likes to always look smart and clean. Also this helps us understand he is a very interesting character when portrayed in the book. Another character that is described excellently in Mama. She is described in her speech on page 27, "it will be easy for anyone to see whose responsibility it is, Daisy, by opening and seventh-grade book. Because tomorrow I'm going to 'mess them up too." This shows Mama can be described as a rebel as she agrees with her children and wants to express her rights. The last character that I think has been described very well is Mr Morrison on page 30. He is described as "A human tree in height towering high above Papa's six feet two inches." The long trunk of his massive body bulged with muscles, and his skin, of the deepest ebony, was partially scared upon his face and neck, as if by fire. This shows that Mr Morrison is a strong and tall person from where it says, "Massive body bulged with muscles" and "human tree in height". This is a great piece of description text because it suggests that Mr Morrison might be there to protect the family. Secondly, another reason why the book is so interesting is because of the settings the author has made in the book. Firstly, I would like to talk about the black school (The Great Faith Elementary and Secondary School). It is described as a "dismal end to an hour's journey". This tells us that it is very far away from where most people live and that there are not many resources like a bus or even something as simple as a clean book. It is also described as "consisting of four weather-beaten wooden houses on stilts of brick." The description of this school is very well written as it shows you just how bad they were in the 1930's. Next I would like to talk about the Jefferson Davis County School which was for white children. It is described as being "a long white wooden building in front of a wide sports field. In front of it were two yellow busses and in the centre of the expansive front lawn, waving red, white and blue with the emblem of confederacy emblazoned in its upper left hand corner was the Mississippi flag." This description can make you imagine what it really looked like and how it compared to the black school. From this description, you can tell that the school is very well resourced because of the "expansive front lawn" and "two yellow busses". The language in this book is definitely a contributing factor to making this book as good as it is. On page 14 when Little man is sprayed with mud by the bus he says "Well, where our bus?". This piece of dialogue lets you understand that Little man is only a child and is very ignorant about racism and does not understand why black people didnt have the same rights. On page 27 Mama "Because tomorrow I'm going to mess them up too". From Mama's language in this piece of text, you can see that Mama is a sort of rebel and agrees with her children that racism is wrong and something needs to be done. In this book there are many times that you can feel sorry for the characters and Mildred Taylor makes it very effective. For example, on page 14 Little man is splashed by the bus. "Little man turned around and watched saucer eyed as a bus bore down on him spewing clouds of red dust." This makes you feel empathy for Little man because as we found out earlier in the book, he likes to stay clean and that he doesn't understand why the bus did that to him. Another time when you feel sorry for the characters is when Little and Cassie see the inside of the "new books". "Little man bit his lower lip, and I knew that he was not going to pick up the book. Rapidly I turned to the inside cover of my own book and saw immediately what had made Little man so furious." This makes you feel sorry for Little man because his "new book" was in very poor condition and had been reserved for black people because of its poor quality. You also feel sorry for Cassie because she knew that Little man would not accept the book and that he would be whipped by Miss Crocker. There are many moments where a lot of tension is built in the book. For example, "a shadowy figure outlined by the headlights of the car behind him stepped out. The man walked slowly to the drive. I stopped breathing." In this paragraph there is a lot of tension as you can see that Cassie is so scared for her life that she stopped breathing and it is very effective. Another tense moment is where Little man is whipped. "The switch landed hard upon Little man's upturned bottom". This is a tense moment because he is whipped for just trying to stand up for his own rights. There are many great dramatic events which make this book so interesting. For example, a dramatic moment is where they create the trap for the bus. "We covered out mouths with silent laughter" and "we held out breath afraid it would topple over", show that they were all very excited that they were going to get revenge on people that had on many occasions tried to splash them for the fun of it. Although, they felt excited, they were also feeling quite afraid as it might topple over or even worse they would be caught and could be lynched which was very common in the 1930's. This is a great event in the book as it shows that they are all somehow rebels and that they were ecstatic that they had finally got some revenge. Another dramatic moment in the book is where Little man opens the book to see the state of it. "I-I said may I have another book please, ma'am. That one's dirty" and "Now you take that book or get nothing at all!" shows that black schools were so under resourced that they received dirty book's. Also it shows that you were punished just for simply standing up for yourself and not accepting a dirty book. In conclusion, I think that all of these things are key to making the book as excellent as it is. This book also gives out messages in most chapters telling people that standing up for yourself and your rights is a good choice and that you should do it freely and fairly. This book also explains a lot about how life was in the 1930's in America with such common happenings such as racism, burnings, hangings and even lynchings. This is a great book with great characters.

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      24.08.2012 23:11

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      A story of a black family's struggle to survive in the Deep South in the 1930s.

      I remember reading this book in middle school and high school. So, I was about 12-14 years old. I know I've read it more than once. It was required for a Reading Program. The story of an African-American family is told through the eyes and words of a 10-year old girl, Cassie Logan. She tells how her family battles poverty, racism, and abuse in the Deep South in the 1930s. This book is a very easy read and will capture your attention. You will really care about this family after reading this book, and you will have a different view on African-Americans during this time if you only have a vague understanding. When I was reading about the cruel things that African-Americans were going through at that time, it saddened me because I was 12-14 years old when I was reading the book. I didn't understand why black people were going through the things they went through. If you are a parent and you want your child to learn about black history and how blacks have overcome, pick up this book and hand it to him or her. They may even be required to read it in school.

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      30.07.2008 20:24
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      Young cassie grows up in the American Deep South and discovers prejudice and its evils

      It is 1983, and I am in the sixth grade. It's my second year at this school, which is something of a novelty given the moving patterns previously experienced thanks to my father's Army career. We are currently stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, and live in post housing. Not having a school on post, those of us in the fifth and sixth grade are for some reason bussed some way to a small school in a working class neighbourhood. There, I and 4 others girls discover we are the only white girls in the entire school, two others discover they are the only Orientals, and the three other children that are black find they don't count as black to the other kids because they hang out with us and therefore can't possibly understand the struggle that it is to be black. It's frightening and we don't understand it. What on Earth are they talking about? We have done nothing, but we are the first children that this particular group of children have socialised with outside their of their racial lines and outside their community. It is puzzling, but it falls into place when a teacher casually mentions within our hearing that we were bussed in to desegregate the school as the racial quotas for mixing had fallen too low. We were tokens in a political game, quite unprepared for the backlash. While at first suspicious, most of the children quickly overcame their perceived stereotypes about us kids from the base, and happily joined in playground games with us. There was one young lady who remained resistant for the nearly the full two years, as well as her friendlier but still suspicious sidekick buddy. Their parents had fully experienced the civil rights movement and their grandparents the horrors and injustice before it, and this was Georgia, where some of the worst crimes of racial hatred occurred. They and their parents saw us as privileged because of our military benefits, and the minorities as possible sell outs as they worked for the government. It was all very strange, but it goes to show that folks get preconceptions in their head, and until something major comes along to remove the veil from their eyes, how they see you is how they think you are, and not as you actually are. For me and the kids from Hunter, that sea change came about due to a book. Being that all of us were about 12, adolescent angst was starting up, and we were all beginning to explore our own ideas of right and wrong apart from what the parents all said. Many of our ideas we got from TV, some from film, but mostly it was books. And the book that changed the tide was this one, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. I identified strongly with the long journey to get to an ill equipped school where we had to bring a long list of supplies for us to use, and the feelings of estrangement from the community. For Cassie, though, it was because she was poor, and black, and it was the Great Depression. Cassie and her brothers are luckier than most. Their parents own their own small plot of land that they work, and they have a school they can go to. It's a long, hot dusty walk, and it is poorly equipped, but they wish to learn. Cassie first learns of inequality here, though, in what should have been a safe heaven of knowledge. Told they were getting new books at last, the staff and children are overjoyed. What they get however, are tatty, 12th hand books, that first were given to white children, then passed to "the coloureds". Cassie refuses her book, as do her brothers. The money for the new books should have gone on new books, and not on old tat so the district could spend more money at the white school, and she refuses take part in the charade. Their young friend TJ discovers he can seemingly advance himself by laying and cheating, going on a downward spiral. Local store owner Mr Wallace also has strong opinions on who should get to strong arm about town and gets to reap ill gotten gains, and it doesn't include anyone but Mr Wallace, and certainly not anyone who is not white. Whispers about lynchings and burnings flit about the community, as good people try to stand up for their rights as human beings. Cassie herself gets refused service, and even worse, her father speaks up against Mr Wallace's doings, and finds the cronies at the bank have illegally foreclosed on his land. TJ is headed for a lynching with his doings as well, and Cassie tries to make sense of it all, befriended by a young white boy who also sees and hears it all, and feels the wrongness in their world. It's a moving tale of a coming of age of a young African American girl in turbulent times, when hardscrabble times brought out the worst in a lot of people, and saw the seeds of the Civil Rights Movement planted. It was also to become the coming of age story of myself, my friends from the post, and those very two young ladies I mentioned earlier. For myself and the other Army brats were stood on the playground, seemingly being ignored, and discussing this very book. We were chatting about how we felt reading the story, and parallels of the injustice in the current day, including our own situation. We were not being ignored, however, and two very incredulous young ladies walked over purposely, challenging us about having read the book. "You really did?" Well, yes, we really did. We walked away friends, with colour barriers down and forgotten. They never rose before us again at the school. We were just people, as it should have been. One powerful little book did what all the bureaucrats in Washington and at our local school board had tried to do. We made peace, and better than that, friends with a friendship based on mutual respect and understanding. It's a gripping reading and thought provoking. It's a window on a world we still all too often glimpse still today, and a reminder that being insular leads to violence and troubles. It's also a reaffirmation of the innate goodness of the human heart, and its indomitable will that makes the oppressed and downtrodden reach for the sky. Those of us so privileged today should also read it with a view of that we take for granted, and what it would be like to have it all taken away. Due to the content, I would recommend this book for children aged 11 and up, as well as adults interested in historical reads.

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        30.11.2003 07:42
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        Skip this first bit to be able to read the review with capital letters intact. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. Cassie Logan has great belief in her own worth, her Mamma has taught her well and not just because her Mamma is a teacher, but because her Mamma is proud of her brood and pride is an expensive commodity in Mississippi in the 1930?s. Cassie and her brothers, Stacey, Christopher-John and Little man walk the long dusty road to school every day with their friend TJ, the white kids ride the long dusty road, in the school bus, every day, and every day Cassie and her brothers and TJ have to jump the ditch lest they get run over by a bus that will never stop for them. Cassie and her brothers and all the other coloured kids in the school have to make do with outdated books handed down from the white school governors, books without covers, or books that are written on and dirty, or with pages missing. Little man and Cassie in particular are less than happy at getting books in this way. Mildred D Taylor captures the fear and suspicion that the average poor black family had to live with daily under the bigotry and racist white values that controlled their every move. In particular this book tells the story of one family who are almost torn apart in one eventful summer. Night raiders burning houses and hanging without trial, white boys using the poor hapless TJ as a stool pigion for their crimes, Cassie?s uncle Hammers rage at the treatment handed down to his family, her father having to work away from home to make the mortgage payments on their homestead and land, the constant pressure from the whites on them to sell their only hope for the future. Cassie?s Father told her- "Look out there, Cassie girl. All that belongs to you. You ain't never had to live on nobody's place but your own and long as I live and the family survives, you'll never have to.? It would take all summer for Cassie to finally realise why her father worked so hard to keep this land. During this summer Cassie has to grow u p quickly, and as with any child, growing up seems to be more pain than gain, there are many lessons to be learned, many truths to be realised and so much pride to be swallowed just to survive that she probably felt fit to burst. If it wasn?t for the love of her mother and father, her brothers and grandmother the chances are she wouldn?t have made it. Towards the end of a long hot summer things reach to a seemingly inevitable bad conclusion until an unexpected happening gets everyone working together to avoid disaster. I don't know if I can get across to you how much I loved this book, it made me think and empathise, it made me care, it reminded me of a time not that long ago, and indeed a time that is with us still, where some people are seen as inferior because of their skin colour. Go out and buy this book for your kids and read it yourself too, then maybe you will know what it is to read something that actually matters. I think this is a must read for all older children and adults, there are lessons to be learned here. Roll of Thunder hear my cry is a terrific read, it has probably passed many of you by because it lives mainly in the childrens section of libraries and book stores.

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          21.03.2003 22:04
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          (this book is what i am suppose to read for my ERil review......) This book is a wonderful read and I enjoyed it. It is mainly about the problems blacks face due to racism and it is in the perspective of Cassie, a young black girl in America in the 1930s. I felt for them and I understood how they felt and sympathized with them. They also have no school bus to send them to school unlike the white children who have two school buses. Even the bus driver does not let them off and purposely splashes mud on them as he drives past thus they can never keep clean. They are upset about it and they know that it is unfair and they want revenge thus they dug a deep hole and hoped that the bus would sink into it and cause inconvenience for the whites. Their plan succeeded and they were elated however they could not express their joy openly as they know that they would definitely get into a lot of trouble with the whites if they were found out. I thoroughly understand their plight and I think that it is truly unfair that they are treated like slaves. I was pleased myself to see the whites looking so pathetic and though it was wrong, I thought that their plan was a well-deserved one for the whites. Cassie and her brothers are very loyal and they stick by each other. Even when TJ betrayed them and they were really mad at him, they assisted him when he was in trouble as they were compassionate. Also in shows how cruel, merciless and vicious whites could treat blacks. The way they hang or shoot them for just going against them. It pains me to see how the blacks get tortured by the whites and how they get ill-treated by the whites. I felt a sense of triumph as Cassie deluded ?Miz Lilian Jean? into thinking that Cassie was her ?slave? and trusted her with all her secrets until one day Cassie led her to the woods and bashed her up and threatened her not to tell anyone or else all her secrets would be made known to everybody. Lilian Jean felt betrayed and though she seemed rather sad, I stood by Cassie all the while, hoping that she could teach the hateful whites a lesson. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the amount of discrimination faced by the blacks and to those who just want a good read to pass time ~sskii..

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          27.10.2001 03:23
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          It is a long walk to school, through miles of dirty, unyielding red Mississippi dust in the warm months, and through miles of dirtier, even more unyielding red Mississippi mud in the rainy ones. It is the first day of the school year, and in honour of that Cassie Logan and her brothers Stacey, Christopher-John and Little Man are wearing their Sunday clothes. It is an impossible feat to stay clean, especially when the school bus taking the white children to school makes a daily sport of speeding up as it passes them, spewing clouds of red dust, or waves of red mud which cover them from head to foot unless they leap into the undergrowth on the side of the path. And even that makes them filthy. Cassie, her brothers and their friend, TJ, don't have a school bus, because they are black, and they go to the school for black children. It is the nineteen-thirties, the years of the Depression, and everyone is poor, but the black families are poorest of all. When they arrive at school the children discover that they are to have new textbooks, readers. They can't quite believe their luck. Books are scarce, but new books even scarcer. However these books are not new, not second-hand, not fifth or sixth-hand even, but twelfth-hand. They are marked in the front with their history of ownership: "1. September 1922. Condition, Excellent. Race of Student, White." through to, "12. September 1933. Condition, Very Poor. Race of Student, Nigra". Unsurprisingly to you and I perhaps, but shockingly to the teachers and other pupils, Cassie and Little Man refuse their books in disgust. There is an important difference between Cassie's family and the others who attend the school – Cassie's family own their own piece of land, and they have just a tiny, tiny measure of independence when measured against the other families who are sharecroppers on white plantations, utterly reliant on the strictures placed upon them by their landlords. Even more unsettling is the rumour being spread by TJ of the burning of several black men who have dared to speak against Mr Wallace, a white storeowner who allows children to drink and gamble on his premises. As the school year goes on Cassie and her brothers stick loyally to their friendship with TJ who falls slowly into bad ways, trying to ameliorate his poverty in the only way he can, by lying and cheating and stealing. Despite the disapproval of their worried parents, they enter into a cautious friendship with Jeremy, a white boy who seems uncomfortable with the way things are. Cassie learns more of the degradations of segregation when she is refused service in a shop, when she hears whispers of the men who burn and lynch and when her parents lead a boycott of the Wallace store in the beginnings of what one day would become the peaceful protests of the southern Civil Rights Movement. She learns that even the family's land is under threat from a system at breaking point, when white men will fight with evil to protect the only sense of superiority they have. We see the fear of the sharecroppers, the anger of Uncle Hammer and the calm, gentle influence of parents who stick to their principles while the cost can be met, and suffer injustice when it cannot. Cassie's parents are wise, good people and they preserve happy times for their children, laughing times, full of meals, and love, and stories and songs to remember: "In the fireplace itself, in a black pan set on a high wire rack, peanuts roasted over the hickory fire as the waning light of day swiftly deepened into a fine velvet night speckled with white forerunners of a coming snow, and the warm sound of husky voices and rising laughter mingled in tales of sorrow and happiness of days past but not forgotten… Through the evening Papa and Uncle Hammer and Big Ma and Mr Morrison and Mama lent us their memories, acting out their tales with stageworthy skills, imitating the characters in voice, manner and action so well that the listeners held their sides with laughter. It was a good warm time." But of course, the tension outside the family is growing, and eventually matters must come to a head. The mortgage on their land has been foreclosed by the bank because of the Logan's involvement in the boycott of the Wallace shop, Papa has been injured in a revenge attack, and TJ must be saved from a lynching. On a dark, stormy night Cassie learns the truth behind the words her father spoke to her so seriously just a few, short weeks ago, the truth that TJ forgot: "Cassie, there'll be a whole lot of things you ain't gonna wanna do but you'll have to do in this life just so you can survive… But 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." Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was first published in the mid-seventies just after Mildred Taylor's father died. There is an author's note at the beginning of the book which pays tribute to the lasting influence his stories, his person, and his beliefs had over his daughter's life and her writing: "He was a complex person, yet he taught me many simple things, things important for a child to know: how to ride a horse and how to skate; how to blow soap bubbles and how to tie a kite knot that met the challenge of the March winds; how to bath a huge faithful mongrel dog named Tiny. In time, he taught me the complex things too. He taught me of myself, of life. He taught me of hopes and dreams. And he taught me the love of words. Without his teachings, without his words, my words would not have been. His voice o f joy and laughter, his enduring strength, his principles and constant wisdom remain, a part of all those who knew and loved him well. They remain also within the pages of this book, its guiding spirit and total power." It is a lovely way to speak of someone you loved, isn't it? But it is also so very true. Without a history, especially a personal history, it is hard to make a worthwhile judgement on the present. Without awareness that so much of the quality of life comes from the routine, humdrum, familiar things that we do every day, it is easy to allow time to slip through our fingers, wasted. Without a firm set of guiding principles to live by that gives us self-respect and self-worth, it is hard to value and give respect to others as we should. As small people it is easy to believe that we lack power and that the things which trouble us are hopeless causes. But words give us the ability to take the knowledge that memories, experience, awareness and respect give to us, and enable us to use them to make a difference that is real. These are all things that children, as well as adults, need to know. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry speaks of all of the things given to Mildred Taylor by her father. A child's world is often a small one, centred around family, friends and school and Cassie's world is full of such things, of childhood friendships and mishaps and adventures, but it is also tinged, as is every child's, with the harsher realities of life. And so we see, through a child's eyes, the Depression, hunger, racism, segregation, and the evil that grinding, desperate poverty can bring to a situation already tense and unstable. In the way it tells of violence and despair with straightforward honesty, but without angry rancour, within the protective wrapping of the values of truth, justice and self-respect, and with lovely, sensuous writing that captures perfectly the sensibilities and passions of a child, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry reminds me of the Ingalls Wilder books about frontier life, and, more obviously, of the similar tale told by To Kill A Mocking Bird. It is a tale full of painful life lessons, and one that needs to be told, even, perhaps especially to children, but it is also a warm, beautiful acknowledgement that if we hold fast to what is right, there will always be a chance. At its end, when Cassie cries for a lost friend, and for the land, she cries tears that are full of the enormity of a child's first knowledge of grief but which are softened by the love of her family and the realisation that somehow there is always a way to do what is right. Puffin have recently reissued Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and in the revengeful world I find each time I turn on the television, I think they chose their moment well. If you read it, open your ears and hear its cry. [Title courtesy of Kieran and his new-found country sensibilities. Conor is keeping his ideas for his own musings, apparently. Sigh]

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            27.08.2001 01:03

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            I first read this book when I was 13, Mildred D. Taylor came to our school to do a talk on racial issues, and what it was like living in missippi as a white child years ago. I loved the book then, and a few months ago, I came accross it when i was sorting out a box full of junk. I decided to sit down and read it again, and now at the age of 21, I think I enjoyed more this time round. It gives enough detail without being too graphic. It explains the Logan family are very lucky, mum is a school teacher and dad works on a rail road and their cotton fields do very well as it is their own land. Its about the Logan family, and how they are stuck in the middle of a racial war. They have their own views and can be quite defiant at times, but they obviously have to be careful because burnings were common. I would reccomend this book to a child over 13, some of the issues may be too delicate for a younger child and hard to understand. Adults will enjoy this book too. A good solid, truthful story written by a talented lady.

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            09.06.2001 17:11
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            Roll of thunder, hear my cry is a story told by a young black girl in America in the early 1900's. It deals with a lot of racism and is in some ways the same as 'To kill a mocking bird.' Cassie lives with her three brothers, mum and big ma, also her dad but he works on the railroad a lot. Unlike To kill a mocking bird there isn't really a main plot, just the life of Cassie Morgan. There is a lot of prejudice in this novel and Mildred Taylor has displayed it well. For example, when a black person is being served in a shop, if a white person is waiting, the white person is served before the black person. That's probably a bit hard to get so i'll give you another example, there is a bridge in the town in which Cassie lives and only one person (in a car) can cross it at a time. If a black person has started crossing it and a white person comes a long the black person has to get off the bridge to let the white person through, phew that was ,long. There are a lot of characters in the novel, these are the main ones and a quick summery of them: Cassie- The narrator, quite outgoing and strong willed. Stacy- One of Cassie's brothers. Loyal frien to T.J. and believes in fairness. Little Man- another of Cassie's brothers. Isn't very old and dosen't know much about the world. Christopher John- the last of Cassies brothers. Caring and upset easily. Ma- Cassie's mother. A school teacher whose very fair and just. Big Ma- Cassie's dad's mother. Very inflential on the childrens upbringing. Pa- Cassie's father. Away a lot. Sensible. Uncle Hammer- Cassie's uncle. Does things without thinking first. Stands up for his family. T.J.- Stacy's best friend. A bit cunning. Influenced a lot by other people. They're the main characters. Others include Mr Morrison, Claude and Mr Granger. But by a long way Cassie is the main character. It is worth while reading bo th Roll of thunder, hear my cry and To kill a mocking bird as they are two perspectives of two young girls living in America in the early 1900's, each from a different race and treated differently. They do have something in common though, they both recieve different types of prejudice. This is an exellent novel and portrays what life was like back then.

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            16.09.2000 22:22
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            I have read this book a few years back as part of my GSCE work. It is a book that discusses the segrigation of blacks from whites before the war in Mississippi. It is mainly about all of the whites who get away with killing and torchering all the black people. The family in the story are the Logans who are lucky because their mum is a teacher and their dad works on the railroad. I think this book is excellent it you want to find out about what life was like in Mississippi before the war all the discrimination that happend in the book was what used to happen to black people.

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              04.09.2000 05:24
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              This book is very well written.It is about a group of young african-american in pre-war Mississipi and deals with racism very well.It is un-biased and as well as having a good storyline , which will involve the younger reader, it gives the older reader much to think about.This is the first of several books in the series all of which focus on the children in question.However in later books they are shown as young adults which gives the reader the chance to look at them from a different perspective

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              21.07.2000 21:22
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              'Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry' deals with issues of racism from the opposite angle to 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Mildred Taylor tells of the racist attitudes of a community from the eyes of a black child as opposed to the eyes of a white child. The book is moving and well paced and shocking as we learn of racism as short a time ago as the beginning of the 20th century. 'Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry' is a momentous novel as it deals with racism in the format of a children's book, which won it much acclaim. I would highly recommend the novel to adults and children.

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