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Thunder Rose Paperback – September 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Thunder Rose is an African-American child born on a stormy night abuzz with booming thunder, flashing lightning, and hailing rain. Her parents are awestruck by her remarkable gifts, which include forming a ball out of lightning, speaking in full sentences minutes after her birth, and snoring through a booming, thunderous rumble. It is clear that Rose is no ordinary child. She can lift a cow over her head and almost drink it dry, and as she grows, she does incredible metalwork with scraps of iron she finds around the ranch. She uses her handiwork to restrain cattle, round up would-be rustlers, and lasso and squeeze the rain out of the clouds. She fearlessly faces down a couple of tornadoes and calms them with her "song of thunder." Nolen and Nelson offer up a wonderful tale of joy and love, as robust and vivid as the wide West. The oil, watercolor, and pencil artwork is outstanding. A splendid, colorful, and most welcome addition to the tall-tale genre.
Andrea Tarr, Corona Public Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. An exuberant tall tale with an irresistible African American heroine. The night Thunder Rose was born to her parents, the thunder gave her her name, and she rolled the lightning into a ball and put it on her shoulder. By the next day, she was lifting a whole cow for a drink of milk. At two, she wove a pile of scrap iron into a thunderbolt; at twelve, she invented barbed wire, stopped a stampede, and captured a band of desperadoes. Thunder Rose even turns away a tornado with her song and the depth of her "fortunate feeling." The watercolor, oil, and pencil illustrations capture the Wild West vistas, the textures of grass and homespun cloth, and the character's personalities, even that of Tater, Rose's trusty steer. Best of all, however, is Rose herself, the color of polished mahogany, with enough sass and savvy to overcome any obstacle. A terrific read-aloud. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Lexile Measure: AD910L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152060065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152060060
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Consider me disappointed. Painfully, wretchedly, miserably disappointed. Author Jerdine Nolen and illustrator Kadir Nelson attempted something marvelous. They were going to write a tall tale about Thunder Rose, the African-American cowgirl of the west. She would have lightning and thunder in her veins and be the kind of child that could wrassle a steer to the ground. This was going to be the new picture book classic. It had all the markings of one, there's no doubt. Sassy heroine. Good set of ideas and the illustrator of the fabulous "The Village That Vanished". And best yet, Jerdine Nolen wrote that wonderful, "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" (which, if I were you, I'd run out and grab this instant). So what happened? This book had everything going for it, and it fell flat on its face. But I'll start from the beginning.
Here's the plot of "Thunder Rose". As I mentioned, Rose was a remarkable baby. She was able to juggle lightning and thunder mere minutes after she was born and speak in complete sentences. If she got thirsty she'd merely pick up the nearest cow and drink her dry. As she grew older, Rose constructed her very own thunderbolt out of scrap iron and named it Cole. At twelve she could stop a stampede and ride a steer like a horse. When rain won't come to the prairie, Rose takes it upon herself to draw the rain from the sky and finds instead that she must do battle with a tornado.
Okay, fine. Tall tales usually have this kind of rhythmic rise and fall to the action. As a story goes on. the hero's accomplishments are supposed to get grander and more ludicrous, culminating in a showdown of some sort with either a force of nature of a force of man.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a precious book. I introduced it during our folktale unit. The main character is a girl. It is a great opportunity to share a folktale with a darling dash of diversity. A really cute book with a nice message. It is now one of my students new favorite folktale characters.
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Format: Paperback
My younger daughter, who is in kindergarten, brought home Thunder Rose (not to be confused with Bruce Springsteen's classic American ballad Thunder Road) by Jerdine Nolen (illustrated by Kadir Nelson) from her school library. It was published by Harcourt in 2003, and, according to the sticker on the front cover, was selected as a Coretta Scott King Award Honor book (for peace, brotherhood, and non-violent social change).

The story is of a bright, confident, powerful and non-traditional African-American girl growing up on a ranch. Born in a thunderstorm, she carries the spirit of lightening with her throughout her life.

In the spirit of the tall tale, Thunder Rose is bigger than life, with insatiable appetites (She nurses from a cow!), supernatural strength (She bends scrap wire into a lightening bolt.), and extraordinary athletic ability (She brings a herd of cattle to a halt by jumping on the lead steer's back and grabbing him by the horns.). She also stops bandits, and, in her piece de resistance, tames a thunderstorm at the end of the book.

Thunder Rose also has a gentle side, however, and is able to sing the heard of cattle to sleep with a lullaby and creates barbed wire to keep her younger sister entertained.

Her story is told in sophisticated language that bends and twists like the wire that Rose sculpts. The illustrations are lush and rich with color, and capture the mischief and pride of this remarkable character. The book makes an excellent read-aloud for bright children and open-minded parents.
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Format: Paperback
Thunder Rose is simply amazing from birth...her bigger than life spirit and love for her parents speaks to the powerful force of family in the African American community. This tale was written to be classic folklore. Even though this is a book intended for children up to the third grade, I enjoyed it as an adult. I will certainly recommend this book to all of my friends with young children. We all need a little Thunder Rose. 5+ stars
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this book to my boys (4.5 and 2.5 years old) and it was a lot of fun. I LOVED this story, personally. I think it was a bit old for their age group, only because of the length, but the topic was just fine. I loved seeing such a strong, beautiful little girl with such power and grace. I checked this book out from the library, but I plan to purchase it very soon.
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By Erin on November 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! It's wonderful to see an African American AND a girl depicted as a tall-tale hero! The text is fun and very descriptive, even poetic. The illustrations are beautiful and convey the humor in the story. It might be a bit too text-heavy for very young,wiggly kids, but they'll love the story.
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Format: Paperback
The class enjoyed reading the text. The children were laughing aloud at the action of the main character. The pictures were very rich and inviting to the eye.
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Format: Paperback
To start off, this story did disappoint me to some degree. Reading the title and taking a quick look through the pictures leads you to believe this is going to be a tall tale set in the style of Paul Bunion and other classic literature of oral tradition. However, the book seems to be lacking a great deal. We follow the main character, Rose, from birth where we immediately learn that she is a "larger than life" character with supernatural qualities. As she grows, we would expect her to have greater powers and accomplish more amazing feats, but quite the opposite. Rose goes from harnessing thunder and lightning to... singing a cow to sleep? That doesn't seem like the making of a tall tale. Besides that, the author and illustrator didn't seem to come together very well in creating the final product. As I read about thunder rose wrestling up a gang of desperados and dropping them off at the jail, I look at the complimenting page and see Rose sitting idly by her longhorn steer. In all, I was disappointed by the inconsistencies in the book, and I only wish I knew why this book won the Coretta Scott King Award.
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