Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

Abstract: In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father's nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party.

Publisher: Aladdin, 290 p.


Anonymous said...

I loved this book. It's a first novel that is compellingly written and offers insight into historical events that is rarely offered: a look at the positive side of the Black Panthers.

It offers readers the chance to think critically about history and to wonder "what would I have done if I were in these people's shoes?"

I think The Rock and The River may be a strong contender for the Coretta Scott King Award.

Teresa said...

This is an exceptional book. The author truly demonstrates the roles of the rock and the river. While this is a work of fiction, the reader becomes a part of the true-to-life (and death) struggle for Civil Rights and the ideas that offer hope and strength.

Anonymous said...

From the CSK criteria:

"Particular attention will be paid to titles which seek to motivate readers to develop their own attitudes and behaviors as well as comprehend their personal duty and responsibility as citizens in a pluralistic society."

I think this gives The Rock and The River an even greater chance for a place among the CSK winners and honored books.

Months later, I still remember many scenes from The Rock and The River. It's not written in a fancy literary style with any of the currently popular gimmicks, but I believe the importance of the book gives it literary weight.