Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
“This was the first book that catapulted me out of the insular world of childhood and forced me to think about injustice writ large. Set in the decades preceding the civil rights movement, the novel is all about losing one’s innocence much too soon yet refusing to settle for the status quo. The Logan family loves hard and deep, and their seemingly ordinary sacrifices to make their community a more just and equitable place will leave you in tears.”
Recommended by ZZ Packer, the author of the short-story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere ($15, amazon.com).
To buy: $8, amazon.com.