Crow by Barbara Wright

CrowCrow by Barbara Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another middle grade book that is showing up on all the “Best of 2012” lists. I want to be a somewhat knowledgeable voter on the Nerdy Book Club so I am grabbing these titles whenever I see them at my library. This novel is a historical fiction set in Wilmington, NC at the turn of the 19th century. It was a different time period than many of the civil rights novels this year. It seemed to drag initially, a lot of setup of characters and setting. I eventually appreciated that setup when the action started in earnest. It seems that Wilmington was really rather progressive in Negro voting rights and political integration for that time right after the Civil War. This story was about a young boy watching his father, a Negro elected official, stand his ground against the White Supremists. This was a battle they all eventually lost which sadly led to much of the oppressive racial conditions that persisted in the South long into the 20th century.
I did enjoy this book. The voice of the young boy truly allows the reader to feel the struggle of becoming a young man and developing the principles that one wants to live with. The title, Crow, would lead into several extended studies with students, such as the use of the word as a derision, the onslaught of the Jim CROW laws, and the use of actual crows by the author as symbols of foreboding.

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