Parent reviews for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Common Sense says

Compelling tale of family facing racism in '30s Mississippi.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 61 reviews
Written byAnonymous August 16, 2010
I love this book. I loved it when I was in the target audience, I loved using it as a read-aloud with middle schoolers in Georgia as part of our advising time, and I loved listening to it on audiobook in the car with my children last week. There is plenty to learn about the time, but there are also ongoing themes about children choosing their friends, how to be a good friend and an honorable person, how individuals can empower themselves and each other in an unjust world. Over and over we understand that one does not have to act a certain way, just because one is part of a certain group. We also come to understand that even those who seem to be in opposition to us may also have redeeming features; that we may work together on the things we *do* have in common. Contrary to Jesusrulz666, I found that the messages throughout were about individuals making daily choices about themselves, their friends, their actions, and about how those choices affect both the people around them and their communities one step removed; not about government knowing best at all. My younger daughter is just 8, so hearing this book all at once (in 2 7-hour car rides) with everyone together for stop-and-explain times, worked for her. She would not have been ready to read it on her own, and she's already had some exposure to Jim Crow and desegregation (notably Ruby Bridges book and movie). My older daughter (11) had already read it before we listened.
Adult Written byAyaBCon March 29, 2012

The Use of Profanity

All the complaints about the use of the "n" word worry me. The story is set in 1930's Deep South. What words did you think the racist white folks where going to use? It would be a failure as a book dealing with such a topic if it softened the launguage. It provides a clear view from a childs vioce of the horrors that occured during that time period.

This title contains:

Educational value
Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written bybgambi2 June 18, 2011

Important

This book was one of my favorite's when I read it in my 6th grade class. At first, because of the language, my class giggled and wondered at how we could ever be reading this book in my small, catholic school. Right away my teacher told us to grow up or get out. This is an important book. Some feel it is too detailed and racist to be introduced to such a young crowd. But kids are introduced to these things regardless and usually much sooner than 6th grade whether it be via classmates or their own families. Kids should learn about things such racism, lynching, lying, and everything else parents oppose in this book. They should be taught so they can appreciate people different from themselves. They should be taught so they can understand that although horrible things were done before their time and to this day take place, even if in a different form, they can change how things happen from now on even in small ways. When I was in class reading this, and it was read outloud by the students, my teacher would not let us skip over or censor any words. The swear words we didn't mind saying and smiled to ourselves when we said them. The racist words, and there were so many, made us uncomfortable, nervous, ashamed, sympathetic, and eventually respectful. This book confronts uncomfortable subjects. But uncomfortable subjects usually are the most important.

This title contains:

Educational value
Positive messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byliterary rebel March 20, 2010

proper disgust

After reading this book I would only recomment it to those who enjoy horror and torment of others. Paying attention was the most difficultpart of reading it. This book was horrible and its sequel was worse. I would say it is sutable for children 10 and older but I must say that they won't enjoy it.

This title contains:

Language
Parent of a 13 year old Written byJen D. January 14, 2017

Not for middle schoolers

While the story was well written, I do not believe my son should be reading this in 7th grade. The N-word was used way too much. I expected some great epiphany at some point during the story, there wasn't one. I believe that after a child has studied American History - specifically reconstruction and the depression era, then they can comprehend this story.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written bywestburytf April 9, 2008

A really Great Book

This book deals with the issue of racism. It is a wonderful book because it shows how evil prejudice can be, but it also shows how that when whites and african americans work together..they can solve these issues.
Parent of a 12 year old Written byTsion April 9, 2008

A Realistic and Emotional Read!

Cassie Logan's family has the land. They're the only black family around that do. They have collateral no one else even dreams of having. But that doesn't mean they don't face problems. Taxes, friendships, racism, and stuggle outline this sharp and emotional drama that serves as sort of a TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD for younger audiences. There is some violence. Fires, gunshots, torches, and broken limbs, though nothing is graphic. The threat of lynching looms over all. Langauge is infrequent, but "ni***r" is used about 5 or 6 times. A good read. Highly recommended.
Educator and Parent Written byKim H. May 29, 2017

Amazing book but please wait until your kids are older...

One of the best children's books out there depicting an ugly part of history but please wait until your child is in 7th grade or older. It is a story that needs to be told to a student who will understand the hatred and time period, and if read to a younger student the content will be more shocking and disturbing (and upsetting), than educational.

This title contains:

Educational value
Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byHendo H. U December 28, 2017

Awesome!

Banned in some areas, because of the word n****r and racism. Great for History. Very bloody!

This title contains:

Educational value
Positive messages
Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byprettygirl1 July 15, 2011

greaty

it is a good book because it teaches kids how far we have came.

This title contains:

Educational value
Positive role models
Adult Written byJoshuabooks January 19, 2010

Excelent!

Amazingly well done-great plot, extremely developed characters, and suspenseful enough to keep you on edge at times, but also calming and hypnotic at other moments. Great Job, Mildred D. Taylor!

This title contains:

Language
Educational value
Positive messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bynutter b. May 18, 2017

Very Good Book

This book is very good, and very well written. Hard to follow. Beware the language, but it is for historical context which I like (The authenticness).

This title contains:

Educational value
Parent of a 2, 3, 4, 11, 11, and 15 year old Written bylover4 June 2, 2009
Adult Written byAva Z. February 15, 2018

My Review

I just read this. It does say the n word 19 times, but in reasonable context. It's an ok book, but young kids wouldn't be very interested.

This title contains:

Educational value
Positive messages
Positive role models
Language