Roll of Thunder by Mildred Taylor

(Summarized by Tristyn Landry)

Intro

The setting of the novel, is set in the year of 1933 in Mississippi. This book talks about racism, and is told by a nine year old girl named Cassie. The Logan kids start the school year off in late October, because they have to farm their land. Their school year is filled with the mistreatment of African Americans, fighting Mr. Granger to keep their land, and a boycott of the local store owned by men, who commit murder. This novel shows how there were good people and also very bad people during this time period.
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Citation for Picture

Paper Back Swap, 2016.

Characters

Cassie Logan-Nine year old, in fourth grade, and also is the narrator of the story.

Stacey Logan-Cassie's big brother, who is twelve years old, and not too excited about starting school this year.

Little Man-The youngest of the Logan children.

TJ Avery-Stacey's friend, who is very poor.

Mary Logan "Mama"-The mother of the Logan children, who is intelligent and educated.

David Logan "Papa"-The father of the Logan children, who works hard to take care of his family.

L.T. Morrison-Lives with the Logan's for protection.

Harlan Granger-He wants the Logan's land and does evil things to get it.

Christopher-John-The second to youngest Logan, and is seven years old. He is very sensitive.

Caroline Logan "Big Ma"-The Logan children's grandmother, who is tall and strong.

Hammer Logan "Uncle Hammer"-Papa's brother and is a "city slicker".

The Wallaces-Brother's who own the Wallace store, that sells alcohol to kids.

Wade Jamison-An attorney who is nice to the Logan's.

Jim Lee Barnett-He owns the Barnett Mercantile that the Logan's visit.

Claude Avery-TJ's little brother, same age as Little Man, and is friends with the Logan's.

Jeremy Simms-A nice kid, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Lillian Jean Simms-The mean girl, that picks on Cassie.

CONFLICT

This novel has several conflicts. One conflict is man vs. man, when Stacey fights TJ after TJ cheated on a test, and Stacey got in trouble for it. Another conflict, is man vs. self. This happens when Stacey feels responsible for Papa's broken leg, which stops Papa from working. The main conflict in the novel is man vs. society. Cassie has to address a white child, as if she were better than her, and also had to apologize for something that wasn't her fault. The last conflict in the novel, is man. vs nature. The fire in the cotton field puts the whole community in danger, and affects the Logan family personally.

The Plot!

1. The Logan family walks to school on the first day.

2. Stacey and Cassie are not happy to be returning to school, especially Stacey, because he is going to be in his mother's class.

3. Papa comes home with L.T. Morrison, the giant, to stay with them while Papa is at work for protection.

4. One rainy day in October, the Logan's get wet walking to school, and Stacey makes a plan to dig a big hole in the road so the school bus wouldn't splash them.

5. Cassie overhears Mama and Big Ma talking about how the children have been acting up lately.

6. Big Ma takes TJ, Stacey, and Cassie to market in Strawberry, where Cassie is forced to apologize to Lillian, after Lillian runs into her.

7. Cassie realizes how unfair some whites treat black people in their town.

8. Uncle Hammer comes to town to visit the Logan's, and becomes upset at the way Cassie was treated by Mr. Simms.

9. Papa returns from his railroad job on Christmas Eve, and the family learns that Mr. Morrison's parents were killed by night men, because a white woman accused their neighbors of "molesting" her.

10. Mama gets fired from her teaching job, because she taught a lesson about slavery that wasn't in the textbook given to the teachers.

11. Mr. Jamison wants to let Papa know that they are planning to boycott the Wallace store, but Thurston Wallace is planning on putting a stop to it, and Mama is afraid of what might happen.

12. Cassie overhears Mama and Papa talking about their bad financial situation. They may have to sell some of their livestock to make the mortgage payments.

13. TJ comes to the Logan's house beaten badly by R.W. and Melvin, because he threatened to tell Mr. Barnett that his brothers broke into his store.

14. Cassie smells fire, and realizes that the land and the cotton are burning. Many people come out to help fight the fire, and thankfully, rain starts to fall.

15. White men and black men work side by side putting out the fire to save the community. Papa started the fire to save TJ from being hung. Cassie cries for TJ and for their land, but at least he was still alive, and Mama said they would still be able to pay their taxes.

Quote

"Look put there, Cassie girl. All that belongs to you. You ain't never had to live on nobody's place but your own and long as I live and the family survives, you'll never have to. That's important. You may not understand that now, but one day you will. Then you'll see." (Taylor, 4)
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Citation for Picture

Mississippi Writers and Musicians, 2016.

Works Cited

Taylor, Mildred D. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. New York: Dial, 1976. Print.