Although I have used the following kid’s novel for a Tuesday Teaser and a First Line Fridays post, I failed to write a proper review on it when I finished reading it.  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor, children’s “classic,” Newberry Award Winner in 1977, ALA “Notable Book,” NY Times Book Review’s “Best of Children’s Books, 1970-1980, and nominee for the National Book Award deserves at least a full review on PWR.

During the time this book was being talked about, discussed, and recommended, I was teaching junior high. I remembering typing up a list of recommended “Outstanding Books for Summer Reading,” and Thunder was included. BUT, I never read the book myself. I just went by the book back and blurbs on the paperback version to deem it “worthy.” About a month ago, someone donated the Penguin paperback version to my Little Free Library. I admonished myself that I really should read it, but what with library books due, book club “assignments,” and books friends told me I “just had to read–right away, Taylor’s awesome novel sat on my bedside table. I picked it up on a Friday and typed in its first lines. The following Tuesday, I had managed a couple of chapters while reading two other books, so I wrote my Tuesday Teaser. Once I began to care about Cassie and her family–poor, but land-owning Negroes in Depression-days Mississippi, I could not put it down and often read holding my breath because it was so tense (and dense).

A coming-of-age story, the novel is set “in one turbulent year–the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she is black–”  As The New York Times Book Review  writes, It is a story written with “pride, strength, and respect for humanity.”

I give this book a 5 out of 5 and highly recommend it to readers of all ages.


Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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