I don’t own many books that could be considered middle grade, but Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is one that is near and dear to my heart. My late uncle, a teacher, challenged me to read all of the Newbery Medal Winners before I completed sixth grade, and this was one of the few that left a strong impression on me. It was one of his favorites, too–he taught it yearly in his own sixth grade classes. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was the sixty-sixth most challenged/banned book from 2000 to 2009.
Why is the land so important to Cassie’s family? It takes the events of one turbulent year—the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she’s black—to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family’s lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride—no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans possess something no one can take away.