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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a 1976 children's novel written by Mildred D. Taylor. It tells the story of a land-owning African American family living in a rural area of Mississippi during the 1930s, and how they subsequently cope with mounting white oppression and racism in order to keep their land.

Many of the events and themes are adult in nature, but the book is told in the first person narrative perspective of Cassie Logan, a fourth-grade girl.

The novel won the 1977 Newbery Medal and is considered to be among the greatest children's novels of all time. Its sequel, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, was released in 1981.


The Mississippi of the 1930s is a hard place for a black child to grow up in and Cassie finds it difficult to understand why the farm means so much to her father.

But she begins to reach a painful understanding when she witnesses the hatred and destruction around her and learns when it is important to fight for a principle, even if it brings terrible hardships.

Reader's Reviews


its a great motha freaking book!READ IT NOWWWWWWW


We read this aloud as a family. It's a book that gives you an opportunity to talk about racism. We found the characters of the Logan family very appealing. We found it a thoroughly good read.


I strongly recommend this book. It paints a vivid picture of the difficult situation facing a black family in Mississippi in the 1930s. The characters of the children are well-developed - you feel for them as they face injustice from both whites and from other blacks, yet they come across as real people with their own faults. I read it with our two eldest children, and found it a worthwhile, thought provoking book.


Well, we read it for school i hated that it had the word n---er in it, because i am African and Indian so it kind of sucks, well if i had to rate the book it would be 2.5/5


This book is splendid and a very powerful story that shows what life was like for African Americans in the segregated times. AP (13 years old)

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry <p align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; text-align: center; line-height: normal;">A story of courage, love and pride <p align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; text-align: center; line-height: normal;">Mildred D, Taylor <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;">Author, Mildred Taylor, born in Mississippi has written this story, not from assumptions but real experiences.  This infuses the tale with liveliness, making it fast moving with no compromise of descriptions or time for thought and consideration.  Mildred writes in a very direct and clear manner making it easy to read, allowing more time for comprehension. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;">The book itself is based in Mississippi when African-Americans were still struggling for equality and justice.  It is can be classed as historical and social drama however; this may limit the wide variety of issue it actually covers.  Themes such as social structure, discrimination, history, culture, language, geography and citizenship are covered.  This is a very interesting book for those children in around year 6/top key stage 2, ideal for discussions and work relating to more recent issues.  <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;">The story is written in first person, from the view of Cassie.  She is a little girl who lives with her family, a father a railroad worker and farmer, and a mother who is a teacher.  We learn to understand her experiences at school, home and within the community in which she lives where we soon discover that her family fight a continuous battle as they struggle through poverty and for freedom.  Much of the story is based in an exciting household full of children which the reader becomes part of.  Due to this the reader, in spite of the struggles and injustices, is able to enjoy the small joys of family and friendship, innocence and laughter.  <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;">The story has the power to ignite true passion in all aged readers.  Everyone has their own battles in life; this inspires to fight for what they believe.  Children, as young and innocent as they may be, still have the power to change things.  

Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 13+
  • Reading Aloud Age: 11+

Racism throughout. Some language, including regular uses of n---er (to reflect the cultural and historical context the book is set in).

A bit sad, so could upset emotional children.

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