Children's Literature Reviews for Teaching History

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Title: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Author: Mildred D. Taylor

Topic: Jim Crow Era
Grade Level: 5
Students: Some strong readers, some struggling or reluctant readers
Rating by: Jenny Franz

Historically Accurate?
(4) Yes and also includes historical notes, primary sources, etc.
(3) Yes
(2) A few inaccurate or misleading portrayals
(1) Not a bit

(4) Everyone - even the most reluctant readers – can get on board
(3) Can be used for a whole class read
(2) Can only be used with a small high-powered reading group
(1) Recommend only to students that love reading

An Engaging Story?
(4) Almost all students will beg to keep reading
(3) Most students will get caught up in the story
(2) Some students will read ahead by mistake
(1) Students will groan when the book is mentioned

Prompts Discussion?
(4) Students will still be talking about it in the hallway
(3) Will prompt discussion about major issues in the past as well as today
(2) Will prompt discussion about the characters and the events in the book
(1) Will not prompt discussion

A Comment from Jenny Franz:
I've read this book as a whole group core literature selection for the past four years.  Without fail, this book engages my students and gets them thinking and asking questions about race relations in the 1930s.  Students come away with a greater knowledge and understanding of our nation's history.

Amazon's Product Description:   
"'We have no choice of what color we're born or who our parents are or whether we're rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we're here'. The Mississippi of the 1930s was a hard place for a black child to grow up in, but still Cassie didn't understand why farming his own land meant so much to her father. During that year, though, when the night riders were carrying hatred and destruction among her people, she learned about the great differences that divided them, and when it was worth fighting for a principle even if it brought terrible hardships."

Link to Reviews on Amazon
Buy this book from your local bookstore via Indie Bound

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