Maybe you noticed the new “Books I Read” tab up there at the top of the page? I’m trying to think about what to do with this blog after infertility is “over”, whatever that may mean. I really love to read so I thought I would start doing book reviews from time to time. So…here goes…
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Book Review:
This book by Mildred Taylor is a youth novel at the approximate reading level of a fifth grader. I previewed it to see if it would be a good fit for my fifth grade reading group. It is about a black farm family in 1930’s rural Mississippi who face many challenges of the rampant racism of the times. The family is luckier than most in their area since they have a mortgage on their farm rather than sharecrop as their neighbors do. The main character, Cassie, is a feisty girl who is constantly asking why blacks are treated as inferior and she struggles to understand the answers her parents give her. The family faces challenges but ultimately they band together to keep their farm and improve the lives of black people.
I do think it had some of the best explanations of the treatment of black people at the time and why the white characters in the book did what they did. Quoting from the book as an example,
“So now, even though seventy years have passed since slavery, most white people still think of us as they did back then-that we’re not as good as they are-and people like Mr. Simms hold on to that belief harder than some other folks because they have little else to hold on to. For him to believe that he is better than we are makes him think that he’s important simply because he’s white.”
This is Mama’s reaction to Cassie showing anger after a racist incident in town involving a white girl and her father. Cassie was treated horribly but it’s worth reading to the end because Cassie gives everything back to the girl and more. You can’t help rooting for her and being glad the white girl got her comeuppance in the end.
This book deals with some very serious issues and to be honest it was a bit slow for me to read. I decided it was not a good choice for my group but I would recommend Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry to any youngster wanting to learn more about civil rights in that era.
(Don’t know…feeling kinda…meh…about my first book review….maybe it will be better if I review a grown up novel.)