This semester I planned to read "Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry" (by Mildred D. Taylor) with my 7th graders. The novel is on our list of suggested books for 7th grade. Another teacher saw me with the books and suggested I not teach it because it is too controversial. The book is from the POV of a black family during the 30's so obviously it deals with racism. She said that some of my students (i.e., the black students) might not get the difference between the book being about racism vs. BEING racist and that it will be too difficult for me to prepare them for it (I'm guessing she means because I'm a first year teacher.) I really wanted to teach this one because of the potential for historical tie-ins. Also, it's a really good book! But now I'm worried that I won't be able to "handle it" and will come across as racially insensitive to my students...what do you think? If you do recommend teaching it, do you know of some good resources/pre-reading activities I can use to help the students prepare? (and help myself prepare!) TIA!!!