Silent Thunder

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Disney-Hyperion, Sep 25, 1999 - Juvenile Fiction - 208 pages
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Eleven-year-old Summer and her older brother Rosco each have a "silent thunder, " a desire that rumbles deep within them, refusing to be ignored. Summer longs to learn to read. Rosco is burning to fight for his Country and his freedom. But Rosco and Summer are slaves on Gideon Parnell's plantation in the year 1862, and for slaves, these desires are illegal and dangerous.

Despite the danger and their mama's terrible fear of being sold off, Summer and Rosco are determined to fulfill their dreams. In stolen moments, Rosco teaches Summer all he has learned from eavesdropping on young master Lowell's lessons. In the meantime, Rosco secretly plans his own escape to the North, to join the Union forces. But when Gideon Parnell unexpectedly falls ill and the plantation is taken over by Parnell's cruel brother-in-law, Rosco's decision becomes more complicated. How can he leave his family now? And Summer, struggling to understand her mama's perplexing actions, discovers that Mama has a silent thunder of her own -- and secrets Summer never dreamed of.

Through the voices of Rosco and Summer, this wrenching yet hopeful novel celebrates the triumph of the spirit in the most inhumane circumstances. Meticulously researched and engagingly written, Silent Thunder is a remarkable introduction to a devastating chapter of American history.

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Silent thunder: a Civil War story

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Gr 5-9-Set in Virginia in 1862, this powerful book tells the story of Rosco, 13, and Summer, 11, siblings who have grown up in slavery on the Parnell Plantation. As the story opens, Summer is making ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Andrea Davis Pinkney has written several acclaimed books for middle grade readers, including the novels Bird in a Box, a Today Show Al Roker Book Club pick, and With the Might of Angels, a book in the Dear America series. She is also the author of the nonfiction book Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor winner. Andrea's many picture books include Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, a New York Times best-seller and a Jane Addams Honor Book, which was illustrated by her husband, Brian Pinkney. She and her family live in Brooklyn, New York.

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