I usually write about newer books. Reading what's hot at the moment is a great way to keep my finger on the pulse of what I could be bringing to those near and dear to me. But, there are those books that have stood the test of time, even with the YA set. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is, in my opinion, one of those staples in the young adult literature world. I know, this book is older than I am, but it has the power to reach across the years and get under the skin of today's kids just as it did the day it was published.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry tells the powerful story of the Logan family. This proud, farming family is struggling to hold on to their family farm in rural Mississippi during the early 1930's. Being one of the only African-American families to own land in this extremely racist community is both a blessing and a curse. However, holding on to this land and their dignity is the number one priority in the Logan home.
The story is told by nine year old Cassie Logan. I've read this book more times than I can count, and I always have to remind myself that the narrator is nine. She brings such a mature take on the events, sometimes I just can't believe her age. Plus, I love her. She is spunky, smart, and sleuthy. What's not to love?
Mildred D. Taylor began her story in this book. But, she chose to develop the Logan series in both directions on the time line. Readers can go back in time in The Land to learn about how Cassie's grandfather came to own the farm as well as forward to learn about the fate of Stacey's friend T.J.
There will always be books that come in and out of fashion, but in my mind, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry will should maintain a place on everyone's shelf.