by Barbara Wright


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375873676
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 03/12/2013
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 90,838
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

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

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 1, 2012:
“The expert blending of vivid historical details with the voice of a courageous, relatable hero makes this book shine.”

Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, January 1, 2012:
“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.”

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, December 12, 2011:
“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.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2011:
"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."

Customer Reviews

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Crow 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
EDashwood More than 1 year ago
Some stories need to be told, and Crow is one. Although forgotten or deliberately repressed throughout the shades of time, a race riot in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898, changed the course of history and made race relations and individual progress regress for decades. Through the unwinding of the story of young Moses, teetering on the self-realization, we soon see that his coming-of-age resembles a plunge down a precipice rather than a climb to a peak. The times in which anyone lives definitely impacts the people they become, and while Moses does indeed have a normal family and adolescence—skinny dipping, doing chores, going to school—his life becomes indelibly marked by the strong strain of ugly and violent discrimination that takes over much of the town’s white population. Yanked from day to day joy of existence, even distancing the issues of right and wrong, Moses and his family, his entire community, must focus on survival. Not all of them make it. One of the greatest threats to human relations is to view another as an object. This occurs in instances of rape, war, theft. It cannot be denied that races also dehumanize one another. Yet who of us has ever tried to put himself in the place of a young Negro boy at the turn of the 20th century? In this, Crow makes a major creative leap to enable us to do so. Through this fictionalized account, we run smack into racism whether we think we want to know or not: the acceptance of Darktown, tiffs between white and black boys; even the state of being routinely maligned, cursed, denigrated. Yet somehow a boy’s childhood remains illuminated by the details of everyday life and its joys and challenges, including Moses’s final and most terrible one. Although billed as a young adult novel, this book will appeal to all ages, especially since definite hints of darker secrets, such as sex between races, are raised. (Wise parents might want to read with their adolescents and be prepared for sensitive questions.) Yet in the final analysis, Moses reminds me most of his contemporary in time—the young Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) in his untrampled and often unsupervised life, running wild and free, curious and learning with every cell in his body. He also sets up echoes that reverberate down the years to our contemporary example of injustice—the death of young Trayvon Martin. We now know that racism and discrimination have not died the death they so richly deserved, or and we wonder just what is still wrong with us and our society?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This might be the most historically accurate story of this time period I have ever read. It correctly portrays the life of a young african-american. Very developped characters make this a must have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so amazing because of the graficdetails in it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
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Poop this was
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