64 pages 2 hours read

Mildred D. Taylor

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1976

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Chapters 1-3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

On a hot October morning in 1933, narrator Cassie Logan walks to the first day of school with her 3 brothers. The Logan children wear dressy “Sunday clothing” as required by their mother, Mary, who teaches at their school. “Little Man,” the youngest sibling, worries that the dusty Mississippi road will soil his clothing. The children pass the edge of their family’s land. Cassie explains that a White man named Harlan Granger owns the rest of the nearby land. He rents it to sharecroppers, tenants who pay to farm the land. Cassie’s grandfather purchased 400 acres of land that once belonged to the Grangers, but now the Logans struggle to pay its mortgage and taxes. The Logans’ cotton crop earns less during the Great Depression. To earn extra money, Cassie’s father David spends part of the year away from home, working on the railroad. David believes in sacrificing to keep the land, but Cassie remains unconvinced.

T.J. Avery and his younger brother, Claude, approach the Logan children. T.J. mocks Stacey because Stacey’s mother, Mary, teaches his and Stacey’s class. T.J. implies that Stacey can obtain answers to Mary’s tests, which angers Stacey.