Kumon Staff Pick: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
RRL Title: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Readers between 5th and 8th grade
Why do you personally enjoy this book?
I first read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry when I was in seventh grade, and it still resonates with me as an adult. The story takes place in Mississippi during the Great Depression. It is a story about a cotton-farming family who, despite the hardships they face, sticks together as a result of their strength and pride. This novel was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1977 for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Why do you think students would enjoy this book?
The protagonist, and narrator, is nine-year-old Cassie Logan. Cassie is a spitfire whose experiences teach her a great deal about family and friendship during a time when she is first exposed to the struggles of the times. Students will enjoy this book, as it is told from the perspective of a strong-willed young child. The characters are so well developed that there is a strong desire to learn their fate.
What skills and/or values might students gain by reading this book?
Students will learn about the importance of family values, loyalty, and the gratification that they bring. They will also be exposed to American history and the importance of justice and equality for all people.