Sunday, February 7, 2010

BHM: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Hmm, yesterday I said I'd tell about this book today, but it's not a picture book. Maybe I can figure out a picture book that goes with this one somehow.

In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor, Cassie Logan tells us about her family. They own a farm in Mississippi, and it's the 1930's. Impressively, at the beginning of the story Cassie has no notion that whites would consider her family inferior. But when she goes to a store in town and the shopkeeper waits on every white person in the store before dealing with her, she is faced with the ugly reality. I haven't been able to find my copy today, so can't tell much more of the storyline. But the solidity and courage of her family in the face of racist attacks has stayed with me for many years.

I hope to raise my son with as solid a sense of himself and as much courage as Cassie Logan showed.

Taylor has written a sequel, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, and a wide range of other books (most shorter) about the Logan family. In my search for more information, I found this biographical site, where Mildred Taylor said, "As a small child, I loved the South. In my early years, the trip was a marvelous adventure, a twenty-hour picnic that took us into another time and another world." And that reminds me of a thoroughly delightful picture book set in the south - Bigmama's, by Donald Crews. I think he'd describe his trips south in the same way. This book is the best vicarious experience of the pleasures of summertime I ever had.

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