(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is set in Mississippi at the height of the Great Depression; most of the action occurs between 1933 and...

(The entire section is 177 words.)

Literary Qualities

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry features a straightforward and uncomplicated style. Taylor's controlled use of symbolism lends depth to...

(The entire section is 415 words.)

Social Sensitivity

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Throughout the work, Taylor addresses the dynamics of racial tension, and although the dramatization of this sensitive issue is carefully...

(The entire section is 230 words.)


(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

Cobb, Cicely Denean. “’If You Give a Nigger an Inch, They Will Take an Ell’: The Role of Education in Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and Let the Circle be Unbroken. ” In Exploring Culturally Diverse Literature for Children and Adolescents: Learning to Listen in New Ways, edited by Darwin L. Henderson and Jill P. May. Boston: Pearson Allyn and Bacon, 2005. Compares the representation of education in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with that in Taylor’s later novel. Discusses the importance of representing childhood education in literature for children.

Fogelman, Phyllis J. “Mildred D. Taylor.” The Horn Book Magazine 53 (August, 1977): 410-414. A brief description of Taylor’s early life and the influences on her first two books.

Harper, Mary Turner. “Merger and Metamorphosis in the Fiction of Mildred D. Taylor.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 13, no. 1 (Summer, 1988): 75-80. Harper analyzes the communal oral and musical tradition in Taylor’s novels and states that the tradition “infuses Mildred Taylor’s work, resulting in an imaginative blending of history, cultural traditions and practices so as to create a sequential bildungsroman in four works.”

Peterson, Linda Kauffman, and Marilyn Leathers Solt. Newbery and Caldecott Medal and Honor Books: An Annotated Bibliography. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982. The authors identify most of the novel’s strengths: “Although the family’s problems are not solved by the book’s end, spunky Cassie and her brothers have experienced some triumphs in the racist society in which they live. These bring both humor and satisfaction to a story that has many grim and frightening moments.”

Rees, David. “The Color of Skin: Mildred Taylor.” In The Marble in the Water: Essays on Contemporary Writers of Fiction for Children and Young Adults. Boston: The Horn Book, 1980. A comparative study that asserts that Taylor “comes closer than anyone else to giving us a really good novel about racial prejudice.”

Taylor, Mildred D. “Newbery Award Acceptance: Address.” The Horn Book Magazine 53 (August, 1977): 401-409. Taylor describes the origins of her prize-winning novel, which she says is “about human pride and survival in a cruelly racist society.”

Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. The Logan family exhibits pride and independence. Which family member seems to exhibit these traits most consistently?

2. The...

(The entire section is 339 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. All societies in one way or another establish roles and expectations for people of different genders and cultural groups. Research the...

(The entire section is 330 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is the second of three books about the Logan family. Taylor's first work, Song of the Trees,...

(The entire section is 97 words.)

For Further Reference

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Dussell, Sharon L. "Profile: Mildred D. Taylor." Language Arts 58 (May 1981): 599-604. Presents interesting biographical details and...

(The entire section is 229 words.)