“Cassie, there’ll be a whole lot of things you ain’t gonna wanna do but you’ll have to do in this life just so you can survive.”—Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor
I’ve often thought I’m much to old to read middle grade or YA books. Over the last few years, I realized the folly of such thinking and rich experience to be had when you read some good books that fall into said category.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor is what I consider a classic in the middle grade canon. Yet I could not remember the book or the experience of reading it in my youth. Let me attempt to explain my feelings about this book.
Reasons to be upset with a book
❕ Your younger self is upset because you don’t remember reading this book when you were Cassie’s age
❕You don’t want a dirty book like Lil Man, something someone treated without care
Reasons to be in love with a book
💙Mrs. Mary Logan is your mama and she reminds you of your own because she is “still considered by many of the other teachers as a disrupting maverick. Her ideas were always a bit too radical and her statements a bit too pointed.”
💙Cassie and her siblings, her family, Uncle Hammer don’t do it because I don’t want anything to happen to you.
💙You finished and there are more books to read in the series
There are innumerable reasons why you should read Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry but I can’t possibly list them all. The Logan Family feel so familiar, like my own in a way.
I even asked myself to try to remember, like Cassie, when I learned some of those hard lessons and did a bit of growing up. When Cassie’s mom told her this, I just had to sit there and absorb the totality of that truth. Those moments when we start to understand more and more about life and living.
“Baby, you had to grow up a little today. I wish…well, no matter what I wish. It happened and you have to accept the fact that in the world outside this house, things are not always as we would have them to be.”
The characters reflect so much that was in the time period Cassie and her family grew up. But it also still feels relevant even today. And poor Jeremy, if more hearts were like his. Seeing him again throughout the rest of the book series, watching him grow up too. Seeing he doesn’t allow the hard heartedness of the people in his family to change him.
I felt like a kid again when Cassie learned a few more things and taught Miz Lillian Jean a long overdue lesson. Yes Cassie, I was cheering for you when that happened.
Do yourself a favor, read this book and the rest of the series. I spent last year finishing the series and the Logan Family will forever be a favorite in my reading life.