Cover image for Crow
Title:
Crow
Author:
Wright, Barbara
Subject:
Juvenile Fiction
Juvenile Literature
Historical Fiction
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.
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books

Random House Books for Young Readers
Date:
2012/01/10
Digital Format:
Adobe EPUB

HTML

Kindle
Language:
English

Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

BARBARA WRIGHT grew up in North Carolina, and has lived all over the world, from France, to Korea, to El Salvador.nbsp; She has worked as a fact-checker for Esquire and as a screenwriter. This is her first novel for children.


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Adult author Wright, in her first book for children, presents a hard-hitting and highly personal view of the Wilmington race riots of 1898 through 11-year-old narrator Moses. Though the story initially meanders, the pace builds as Wright establishes the Wilmington, N.C., setting, with its large black middle class, and Moses's family life, which is primarily influenced by his slave-born grandmother, "Boo Nanny," and his Howard University-educated father, an alderman and a reporter at the Wilmington Daily Record, "the only Negro daily in the South." Wright sketches a nuanced view of racial tension and inequality from Moses's sheltered yet optimistic perspective, such as a bike shop's slogan contest that is only open to white children, or the farmer who fires Moses after he helps another okra picker determine his true pay. A Daily Record editorial ignites racial backlash and catalyzes a series of attacks on hard-won rights, thrusting Moses and his father into the violence of the riots. This thought-provoking novel and its memorable cast offer an unflinching and fresh take on race relations, injustice, and a fascinating, little-known chapter of history. Ages 8-12. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

"A mess of trouble be headed to our door," says Boo Nanny to young Moses Thomas when a buzzard swoops down, casting its shadow across the yard. Born into slavery and knowledgeable about omens and healing, Boo Nanny reads the signs and isn't optimistic about recent events in Wilmington, North Carolina. Moses's father, one of four black aldermen in the city, disagrees. After all, in 1898, Wilmington is a good place to raise children. There's a solid black middle class, thirteen of the twenty-four policemen are black, and fourteen percent of the black residents own their own homes. "The twentieth century promises to be a century of opportunity for our race," Mr. Thomas declares. But when a white minority becomes disgruntled at the perceived power of blacks in business and politics, they form a Committee of Twenty-Five, stage a coup d'etat, and boot the black leaders out of town. From then on, as Wright explains in her author's note, Wilmington's African Americans were disenfranchised, and not a single African American was elected to Congress in the twentieth century. Wright has taken a little-known event and brought it to vivid life, with a richly evoked setting of a town on the Cape Fear River, where a people not far from the days of slavery look forward to the promise of the twentieth century. dean schneider From HORN BOOK, Copyright The Horn Book, used with permission.


Booklist Review

The violent race riots in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1898 are the story in this gripping historical novel narrated by 11-year-old Moses Thomas, who witnesses unspeakable mob brutality that changes his community forever. While staying true to the boy's perspective, Wright ably integrates the historical details, including the roles of several public figures, and the White Declaration of Independence. Moses' mother works all day as a housekeeper for a rich white family, and he is raised by his devoted grandmother, an illiterate former slave whose practical folk wisdom sometimes clashes with the views of his loving dad, a Howard University graduate who works for the Record, the largest black newspaper in the state. Tension rises with elections coming until white racists riot to stop blacks from voting, people are lynched, and a mob burns down Dad's newspaper offices. High-school readers will want to read the historical note and talk about the time when, bad as things were, a black middle-class was emerging, and Jim Crow was not yet the law.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Moses, an 11-year-old African American boy, is hoping for a fun summer in Wilmington, North Carolina. The year is 1898 and Moses has started to become aware of the tension in his family and in his community. Boo-Nanny, they boy's beloved grandmother and a former slave, is often at odds with his father, a reporter for the only black-owned newspaper in the South and a city alderman. Boo-Nanny shares stories about her past with Moses and he teaches her how to read. But things are changing in their progressive town and others don't seem to like it. Wright's historical fiction novel (Random, 2012), told as a first-person narrative through Moses's eyes, depicts the race riots where the local government was overthrown as well. J.D. Jackson narrates in a leveled tone that sometimes is too flat, and he doesn't give the other characters distinctive voices. Although the story is slow moving, it's a good choice for middle school history classes because it will make students aware of a little-known event.-Katie Llera, Bound Brook High School, NJ (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Daily Record, "the only Negro daily in the South." Graduate of Howard University and an elected alderman, Daddy ardently believes in the power of education, and Moses tries to follow in his footsteps by reading library books, learning vocabulary words and maintaining perfect attendance at school. In contrast, Boo Nanny thinks her protected grandson "needs to learn by living." When a mob of white supremacists burns the newspaper office and arrests his father, Moses becomes dangerously involved and discovers what it means to be his father's son. Relying on historical records, Wright deftly combines real and fictional characters to produce an intimate story about the Wilmington riots to disenfranchise black citizens. An intensely moving, first-person narrative of a disturbing historical footnote told from the perspective of a very likable, credible young hero. (historical note) (Historical fiction. 10-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.