33. When the Old Children’s Book Becomes the New Favorite with Hawa Jalloh

You know a book is a real classic when you can love reading it as a child, then love it even more while rereading it as an adult.

Librarian and bookstagrammer Hawa Jalloh from @hawareads proved that to us by sharing her story with Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

Hawa first picked this one up because she saw herself in the main character on the book cover. But that recognition only deepened as she enjoyed Taylor’s vivid storytelling of Black girlhood and childhood in the early 1900s.

What became clear to Hawa when she reread Roll of Thunder as an adult is just how honest and relevant this book is for current times.

After reading Roll of Thunder for the first time for this episode, we couldn’t agree more. Together with Hawa, we combined our opinions on the book to start a larger conversation about what it means to grow up Black in America today.

How have things changed in the last 100 years?

How have things stayed the same?

How can we support Black children as they navigate racism in school and life?

Why is reading still important in a world of Netflix and TikTok?

What is Hawa’s biggest guilty pleasure?

These are just a few of the questions that we discuss in this fun interview with Hawa!

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