Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is the story of the Logans, an African American family enduring racial prejudice in the Mississippi of the 1930s. Papa works on the railroad half the year to pay for their mortgaged land, while its former owner, Mr. Granger, wants to buy the land back, and Mama must use her wits to hold onto the property. Life is also hard for the Logan children, as black students receive used textbooks, and have to walk the long way to school. Cassie and her family find ways to retaliate, digging a trench in the road to block the white school bus, boycotting stores, and shouldering their way to self-respect. But as always, the family has to watch out for the “night men”, bigots who harass and murder African Americans with seeming impunity. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry climaxes with a raging fire, while a hanging, averted at the last minute, closes this dark beautifully crafted story for readers in the middle grades.