Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

T.J. Avery Character Analysis

T.J. is Stacey’s friend, though none of the other Logan children like him very much. His family sharecrops on Granger land. T.J. causes trouble throughout the book, causing Mama to get fired from her teaching job. At the end of the novel, T.J nearly gets lynched for a crime he did not commit, but Papa at least temporarily saves him by sacrificing his own land.

T.J. Avery Quotes in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

The Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry quotes below are all either spoken by T.J. Avery or refer to T.J. Avery. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Puffin Books edition of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry published in 1991.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Finally T.J. said, “Okay. See, them Berrys’ burnin’ wasn’t no accident. Some white men took a match to ‘em.”

Related Characters: T.J. Avery (speaker)
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4 Quotes

“See, fellows, there’s a system to getting out of work,” T.J. was expounding as I sat down. “Jus’ don’t be ‘round when it’s got to be done. Only thing is, you can’t let your folks know that’s what you’re doin’.”

Related Characters: T.J. Avery (speaker), Cassie Logan
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

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“Friends gotta trust each other, Stacey, ‘cause ain’t nothin’ like a true friend.” And with those words of wisdom he left the room, leaving us to wonder how he had managed to slink out of this one.

Related Characters: T.J. Avery (speaker), Stacey Logan
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

What had happened to T.J. in the night I did not understand, but I knew that it would not pass. And I cried for those things which had happened in the night and would not pass.
I cried for T.J. For T.J. and the land.

Related Characters: Cassie Logan (speaker), T.J. Avery
Related Symbols: Land
Page Number: 276
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, conseLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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T.J. Avery Character Timeline in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

The timeline below shows where the character T.J. Avery appears in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
The Logans meet up with Stacey’s friend, T.J. Avery, and his brother, Claude Avery. T.J. tells Stacey to cheer up, hinting that Stacey... (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
The Logans—other than Stacey—don’t like T.J. very much. He reveals that Cassie almost got him in trouble by telling his mother... (full context)
Chapter 2
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...with her brothers. She thinks that it might have something to do with the burnings T.J. mentioned on the first day of school. (full context)
Chapter 3
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...on the bank, and it will be difficult to get away farther up the road. T.J. convinces them that they should just keep walking so that they can get to school... (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...as he has a plan to make the bus stop splashing them. He doesn’t include T.J. or Claude though, since he doesn’t trust them to keep quiet. At lunchtime, the Logans... (full context)
Chapter 4
Family and Community Theme Icon
Storytelling and Language Theme Icon
Inside, T.J. is telling the boys about his strategy for getting out of doing chores for the... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
T.J. reveals that the night men tarred and feathered a black man, Mr. Sam Tatum, after... (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
The next day, T.J. brags that he’s made a cheat sheet for Mama’s test. However, when Stacey sees the... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...Wallace store, ignoring Papa’s warnings. The other Logans follow. At the Wallace store, Stacey finds T.J., and they start to fight. However, before the fight gets very serious, Mr. Morrison appears... (full context)
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
When Mama comes home, Stacey tells her about his fight with T.J. at the Wallace store. He doesn’t mention the fact that T.J. had been the one... (full context)
Chapter 5
Family and Community Theme Icon
...it’ll be her first time in town. However, once Cassie and Stacey find out that T.J. will be going too, it becomes clear that Big Ma only brought them so that... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
T.J. suggests that they go to the country store now, but Stacey says that Big Ma... (full context)
Chapter 6
Family and Community Theme Icon
Storytelling and Language Theme Icon
...very happy with the present, and they all head to church. When they get there, T.J. makes fun of Stacey’s coat, saying he looks like a fat preacher. Cassie tells Stacey... (full context)
Chapter 7
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...up the sleeves for him, but it turns out that Stacey gave the coat to T.J. to get him to stop making fun of him. Mama is furious and tells Stacey... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...leave. Cassie wishes him a merry Christmas before he goes, and Jeremy seems pleased. Afterwards, T.J. tells Stacey that he should get rid of the flute, but Stacey ignores him, remembering... (full context)
Chapter 8
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...Lillian Jean on the walk to school and offers to carry her books for her. T.J. and the other Logan children don’t understand what Cassie’s doing, but when Little Man threatens... (full context)
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...it’s her chance to act. She goes to the crossroads to wait for Lillian Jean. T.J., meanwhile, has been caught cheating during the exams again, and Mama failed him. T.J. takes... (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
Little Willie Wiggins, one of Stacey’s classmates, tells the Logan children that T.J. was the one who told the Wallaces that Mama destroyed school property and taught things... (full context)
Chapter 9
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...like the other Simms either. Jeremy reveals that his older brothers have been hanging around T.J. and don’t treat him very well, making fun of him behind his back. (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
...can learn a bit about conducting business—he doesn’t want Stacey to be a fool like T.J. Mama comments that T.J. is getting out of hand. One of these days, he’s going... (full context)
Chapter 10
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...Papa’s still hurt and can’t work at the railroad. Cassie is furious. Jeremy reports that T.J. is still hanging out with his older brothers too, and they’ve been stealing things recently.... (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
...storm starts brewing, but the Logans decide to attend the revival anyway. While they’re there, T.J. shows up with the older Simms brothers. He tries to talk to his old friends,... (full context)
Chapter 11
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
...to the door, where she listens some more and then opens the door to find T.J., badly injured. They go into the boys’ room, and T.J. tells them that R.W. and... (full context)
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
When T.J. and the Simms brothers went to Strawberry to get the pistol, the Barnett store was... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
Afterwards, T.J. asked to be taken home, but the Simms brothers refused. T.J. then threatened to tell... (full context)
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
As soon as T.J. slips into his bedroom window, however, several cars drive up. The cars belong to the... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
Mr. Jamison drives up and asks the men to give T.J. to him and the sheriff, but the Wallaces threaten to hurt Jamison as well if... (full context)
Chapter 12
Family and Community Theme Icon
...whip them though, Cassie starts crying and reveals the entire story, starting with the story T.J. told them. Papa decides he has to go get Stacey, and he grabs a gun,... (full context)
Land as Independence Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...happened. When the fire started, Mr. Granger stopped the Simms and the Wallaces from hanging T.J. and instead got everyone to fight the fire. Cassie is suspicious about where Papa was... (full context)
Land as Independence Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...but they pushed his car off the road They were about to take off with T.J. when the smoke started. Mr. Granger then ordered the men to hand T.J. over to... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Land as Independence Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
Mr. Jamison leaves, and Papa tells Cassie and Stacey that T.J.’s in jail now, awaiting a severe punishment, possibly death. Stacey runs away at this news,... (full context)