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The Rock and the River
Table of Contents
About The Book
In this “taut, eloquent first novel” (Booklist, starred review), a young Black boy wrestles with conflicting notions of revolution and family loyalty as he becomes involved with the Black Panthers in 1968 Chicago.
The Time: 1968
The Place: Chicago
For thirteen-year-old Sam, it’s not easy being the son of known civil rights activist Roland Childs. Especially when his older (and best friend), Stick, begins to drift away from him for no apparent reason. And then it happens: Sam finds something that changes everything forever.
Sam has always had faith in his father, but when he finds literature about the Black Panthers under Stick’s bed, he’s not sure who to believe: his father or his best friend. Suddenly, nothing feels certain anymore.
Sam wants to believe that his father is right: You can effect change without using violence. But as time goes on, Sam grows weary of standing by and watching as his friends and family suffer at the hands of racism in their own community. Sam beings to explore the Panthers with Stick, but soon he’s involved in something far more serious—and more dangerous—than he could have ever predicted. Sam is faced with a difficult decision. Will he follow his father or his brother? His mind or his heart? The rock or the river?
- Publisher: Aladdin (January 6, 2009)
- Length: 304 pages
- ISBN13: 9781416975823
- Grades: 5 - 9
- Ages: 9 - 14
- Lexile ® HL550 The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
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Raves and Reviews
"An intensely significant story..." -- Sundee T. Frazier, winner of the ALA 2008 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award
"This is an essential story that has been waiting for its time and its teller. A brave and brilliant accomplishment." -- Helen Frost, Printz Honor Award-winning author of Spinning Through the Universe
"Vividly, poignantly, and without compromise, Kekla Magoon takes us to the heart of a world in the messy business of monumental change. The Rock and the River is an extraordinary book that brings unflinchingly to life an extraordinary moment in time." -- Tim Wynne-Jones, author of Rex Zero and the End of the World
"What a rich and passionate debut novel! With both intensity and humor, the story that unfolds is at once riveting, disquieting, and ultimately most satisfying." -- Ellen Levine, Caldecott Honor Award-winning author of Henry's Freedom Box
"This explosive coming-of-age story, taut with tension and protest, propelled me along like the river of its title. Magoon is most certainly a new and serious talent to watch. An intensely significant story of emotional and historical depth that resonates with relevancy for our age." -- Sundee T. Frazier, winner of the ALA 2008 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It
Awards and Honors
- ALA Notable Children's Books
- CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
- ALA Best Books For Young Adults
- Bank Street Best Books of the Year
- Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee (AZ)
- Texas Tayshas High School Reading List
- Garden State Teen Book Award Nominee (NJ)
- Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
- Capital Choices Noteworthy Books for Children's and Teens (DC)
- Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Master List (IL)
- Virginia Readers' Choice Award List
- Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee (MD)
- ALA Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent Award
- ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award
- Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award Nominee
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
- Book Cover Image (jpg): The Rock and the River Hardcover 9781416975823
- Author Photo (jpg): Kekla Magoon Supplied by author.(3.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
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