Author: Mildred Taylor
Link: Roll of thunder, Hear my cry on Amazon
My rating: 11/10
Let me just say, before I start this narration, this book was definitely one of my all time favorites, right up there with Ender’s Game and Harry Potter. This book is about Cassie Logan, the 9 year old narrator, living in a town in Mississippi where black people are treated horribly and they have almost no rights. Cassie and her family are one of the few black families who own their own land. Her dad works on the railroad and her mother teaches 7th grade at her school. This book is very crazy, and it’s weird to think, that not that long ago, people were really that racist. If a black person did something wrong, he usually didn’t even have a trial. If a white man killed a black man, they usually got off clean. On with the narration then! If you want the full story, you should read the full story (Available on Amazon for just $7(and 2 cents!) for this amazing book, or only $5.99 for the Kindle Edition!).
A short time ago, in a galaxy so identical to this one, they’re the same :O, there lived a girl named Cassie Logan, with her brothers Stacey, Christopher-John and Clayton Chester (They call him Little Man throughout the whole book, unless that someone is angry with him) and her parents, along with Big Ma, their grandmother. The reason that they have land is that, during the reconstruction, Harlan Granger’s grandfather sold all his land to pay taxes. Now Harlan Granger is after their land. Cassie and her brothers go to school with their sort of friend T.J Avery, and his brother Claude Avery. On the way to school they all get totally splashed with mud on purpose by the white kids school bus. When they get to school, they find out that they get the old castoffs of the white schools books, as stated on the inside cover. Cassie and Little Man refuse to use the books, and when their teacher tells their mother, teaching in the other building, Mrs. Logan glues the inside covers over, and hands them back to the teacher. The teacher tells Mrs Logan that she could potentially lose her job.
Later, Mr Logan tells his kids never to go down to the Wallace Store, under punishment of a whipping, because a friend of theirs, Mr Barry, had gotten ambushed by the Wallace brothers, and beaten up. When the first test at their school comes up, TJ makes cheat sheets, and throws them to Stacey when the teacher passes, thus leading to Stacey getting blamed and whipped by his mother in front of the whole school. After school, TJ runs to the Wallace store, knowing that the Logan’s aren’t allowed down there. Stacey goes down there anyway and beats up TJ. Mr Morrison, who is staying with the Logan’s for a while because he lost his job at the railroad, brings them home. Stacey admits to his mother that he went to the Wallace store, and he is sent to bed. Later, Mrs Logan takes them to see the Berry’s. The Wallace brothers had dumped kerosene on Mr Berry and lit him on fire. He is badly disfigured, and can’t speak anymore.
The next day, Big Ma, Stacey, and Cassie go to Strawberry, a nearby town to sell Big Ma’s goods. Big Ma goes to a building to talk to their lawyer, Mr Jamison, the only person who treats blacks and whites the same. She tells the kids to stay in the wagon, so of course TJ jumps out and tells them that he is going to the Barnett’s to get the stuff that Big Ma needed. Stacey and Cassie of course follow. TJ gives Mr Barnett the list of things they needed, while looking at a pearl handled gun that he wants . He starts serving them, but when a white woman comes in, and he ignores them for her. Another white girl comes in and he serves her instead of TJ and the Logan’s. Cassie tells Mr Barnett that they have been waiting for an hour and they want to be served now. Mr Barnett kicks them out. On the way out, Cassie accidentally bumps into Lillian Jean Simms and apologizes. Lillian Jean says that is not enough and tells her to get off the sidewalk and say sorry to her in the road. Cassie refuses, and Mr Simms comes up behind her and throws her into the street and forces her to say sorry to “Miss” Lillian Jean.
At home they find their Uncle Hammer, their grandfathers uncle’s nephew’s son :D. Cassie tells him what happened and he leaves in his new car to take revenge but Mr Morrison stops him. Uncle Hammer gives Stacey a new coat, an early christmas christmas present. At church TJ manipulates Stacey into thinking the coat looks horrible and Stacey gives it to TJ. When Uncle Hammer hears this he is pissed.
Mr Logan keeps boycotting the Wallace store, telling everyone to shop in Vicksburg instead of there. Uncle Hammer leaves to Chicago. Cassie meets up with Lillian Jean, makes peace with her, and pretends to be her little servant for the rest of the month, therefore learning all her secrets. At the end of the month, Cassie leads Lillian Jean into the woods and beats her up. She tells Lillian Jean if she ever tells, Cassie will spill all her secrets.
TJ tells Mr Wallace that Mrs Logan isn’t teaching from the lesson books and Mr Granger goes to the school and fires Mrs Logan. Stacey, Cassie, Christopher-John and Little Man now hate TJ for getting their mama kicked out. TJ, with no friends, goes and associates with Melvin and R.W Simms. Mr Logan, Mr Morrison and Stacey go to Vicksburg, but on the way back, are ambushed by the Wallace’s and Mr Logan gets shot (not fatally) and a broken leg, but Mr Morrison takes them all on and takes them down.
One night, TJ bangs on the Logan’s door, and Stacey answers. TJ tells them that Melvin and R.W took him down to Strawberry, broke into the Barnett’s, took the gun and gave it to him, fatally wounded Mr Barnett, knocked out his wife, and ran away. TJ threatened to tell, and the Simms beat him up. Stacey and the Logan kids take him home, and TJ asks them to watch him go inside, just to make sure he is alright. Stacey scoffs at this, but as soon as he does this, he sees headlights pull up to the Avery’s house. The men get out, and they see it is the Simms and a lot of other people. The Simms had told the townspeople that they saw TJ and two other people break into the Barnett’s. They beat up Mr Avery and his wife, throw his sisters out the window and spit on them, and beat up TJ, drag him outside and vote what to do with him. Mr Jamison pulls up and attempts to stop them but fails. Cassie, Chris-John and Little Man run back home and tell their parents. Meanwhile, they find out that lightning struck their cotton field and everything is on fire. Mr Logan goes to help TJ, and Mrs Logan and Big Ma try to put out the fire. About an hour later, Mr Logan comes home and tells them that TJ was taken to jail. Their land is totally decimated but they managed to put the fire out. The End (Wasn’t that a great ending?).
This book is book two in a four book series (plus a prequel to the whole series). I loved this book a lot and I hope you do too (If you read it). I was originally going to make this short, but this whole post ended up being 1321 words long.
Thanks for reading!