Cover image for
Thunder Rose
Nolen, Jerdine.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Unusual from the day she is born, Thunder Rose performs all sorts of amazing feats, including building fences, taming a stampeding herd of steers, capturing a gang of rustlers, and turning aside a tornado.
Reading Level:
AD 910 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.4 0.5 71144.
Lexile Number:
AD 910 Lexile.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Pub Date:
Harcourt, 2003.


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Central - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Closed stacks picture book Closed stacks kids book E NOLEN
Stimley-Blue Ridge - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E NOLEN
Park Place - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E NOLEN
Vinson - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E NOLEN
Heights - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E NOLEN
Oak Forest - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E NOLEN
Robinson-Westchase - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E NOLEN
Jungman - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E NOLEN

On Order



On a dark night of howling rain and booming thunder, Jackson and Millicent MacGruder welcome a new baby girl into their lives. Imagine their surprise when she sits up, thanks them for bringing her into the world, and informs them that she's quite partial to the name Rose.
So begins the story of Thunder Rose, who drinks her milk straight from the cow and prefers the company of her bull, Tater, to any kitten or puppy. Rose is capturing outlaws by the time she's a teenager, but she always has time to find joy in a song. Jerdine Nolen and Kadir Nelson have created a tall tale--and a powerful new African American heroine--to delight readers of all ages.

Author Notes

JERDINE NOLEN is the author of many beloved picture books, including Plantzilla and Raising Dragons , which won the Christopher Award and was a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children. She lives in Maryland.

KADIR NELSON has illustrated many popular books for children, including Just the Two of Us by Will Smith and Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee. He lives in California.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

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 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Coming into the world one stormy night, Thunder Rose, heroine of this original tall tale, is the first child "born free and easy" to her African-American parents, who (an author's note implies) have transplanted themselves from slavery in the South to settle the frontiers of the Old West. Rose demonstrates extraordinary talents even as a newborn: "She took hold of that lightning, rolled it into a ball, and set it above her shoulder, while the thunder echoed out over the other." She turns out to have an aptitude for bending wire and scrap metal; among other developments in this episodic narrative, Rose constructs a thunderbolt from scrap iron and invents barbed wire. Nolen's (Big Jabe, also illustrated by Nelson) kicky regional dialect is the high point here ("Right outside of Caldwell, that irascible, full-of-outrage-and-ire outlaw Jesse Baines and his gang of desperadoes tried to rustle that herd away from Rose.... [She] lassoed those hot-tempered hooligans up good and tight"). Unfortunately, her packed plot slows the rhythms of her fun writing style. Even for the tall tale genre, there is too much going on, and a message at the end, about the thunder in Rose's heart and what happens when she calls forth the music that resides there, makes for a rambling denouement. Throughout, Nelson's oil, watercolor and pencil compositions endow Rose's larger-than-life feats with verve. Notes of humor, warmth and rustic detail vie for attention in his bright-blue, big-sky scenes. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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