READING TIME: 320 minutes
WORDS: 63,872 PUBLISHED: 2012 READING LEVEL: 5.4
BOOK JACKET DESCRIPTION: The summer of 1898 is filled with ups and downs for 11-year-old Moses. He’s growing apart from his best friend, his superstitious Boo-Nanny butts heads constantly with his pragmatic, educated father, and his mother is reeling from the discovery of a family secret. Yet there are good times, too. He’s teaching his grandmother how to read. For the first time she’s sharing stories about her life as a slave. And his father and his friends are finally getting the respect and positions of power they’ve earned in the Wilmington, North Carolina, community. But not everyone is happy with the political changes at play and some will do anything, including a violent plot against the government, to maintain the status quo.
One generation away from slavery, a thriving African American community—enfranchised and emancipated—suddenly and violently loses its freedom in turn-of-the-century North Carolina when a group of local politicians stages the only successful coup d’etat in US history.
FAVORITE LINES OF DIVERSITY: “Aren’t white people better than us?” I asked.
“Not better. Different. Everybody is an individual. It’s like hair. Some people have red hair, some brown, some blond. But that doesn’t mean we’re different inside.”
MY THOUGHTS: The story builds after a slow start, and the empathy I had for young Moses demonstrates the strong writing from Ms. Wright. The final 80 pages are gripping. It’s a sad scar on the history of North Carolina and for the United States. This would be a fantastic tale to jump start a discussion about progress made with race relations since this story unfolded in 1898.
NEXT UP: THE GREAT GREENE HEIST by Varian Johnson
MY MOTIVATION LEVEL: Maybe I should have read CROW first as it was the type of story that requires careful reading and reflection. I’m pushing forth for another hour tonight and hope to finish the final selection before my 48 hours comes to an end at 9 am tomorrow.