And the Thunder Rolls: Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

And the Thunder Rolls: Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor. 1976.

Love the voice. “Mama’s gonna wear you out.” It sings with authenticity with enough description to make the setting vivid without being overwhelming, and all of it is in Cassie’s voice (more or less), which makes it interesting as well as informative. The scene with the books made me cry. Moving prose but without being manipulative. The characters are merely reacting to the realistic situation in real ways—and it’s heartbreaking.

Despite this being an older book, there’s a moment where revenge tastes sweet. There’s the required line of “good thing no one got hurt,” but otherwise no moralizing. Not the first book to do this, obviously, but contrast it with those God-awful Elsie Dinsmore books, or the mostly awful rewrites ... how good to see evolution at work!

Taylor captures the racial tensions well, so even the crossing of a bridge becomes a skirmish in this tense war. So many strong themes of justice, right/wrong, etc. Yet all is woven to create a compelling and seamless plot. A true classic.

Hamline Universtiy MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults: residency, January 2010

Hamline Universtiy MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults: residency, January 2010

Fiction Meets Nonfiction: Quack! Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Fiction Meets Nonfiction: Quack! Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey