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Fire in the Streets

(The Rock and the River #2)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  303 ratings  ·  53 reviews
What means more, shared values or shared blood? Maxie’s choice changes everything in this acclaimed companion to The Rock and the River.

Bad things happen in the heat, they say.

Maxie knows all about how fire can erupt at a moment’s notice, especially now, in the sweltering Chicago summer of 1968. She is a Black Panther—or at least she wants to be one. Maxie believes in the
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Aladdin
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  303 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Christopher Magoon
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. The author tackles a topic that is hugely underrepresented, especially in children's literature. It is a story of family, loyalty, poverty, race, and difficult decisions, to which any American reader can relate. ...more
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you liked The Rock and the River, you will LOVE this book!
A. Minin
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is so beautifully written. I fell into Maxie's shoes and shared her emotions. Kekla Magoon puts you smack in the middle of the life of a determined teenager who's dream is to become a Chicago Black Panther. I couldn't put it down, and even though I have finished it, I am still consumed. ...more
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Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 11-14 year olds
Shelves: good-girl-books
Fire In The Streets is the sequel to the outstanding The Rock and The River, but it is a very different kind of story. While The Rock and The River focused mostly on the relationship between brothers Sam and Steve, Fire In The Streets takes the reader into the heart of the Chicago Black Panther campaign during the summer of 1968. The fear and frustration of growing up in inner city Chicago is bearing down on young teen, Maxie. After participating in the Black Pather summer programs for kids, Max ...more
Jill Adams
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Probably 3 1/2 stars...I kept wanting it to be more like X: The Novel.

Can't wait to meet her at the Colorado Teen Literature Conference on April 2!
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
I've been enthralled by the history of the Black Panther Party since childhood for a number of reasons, ranging from familial history to their unwavering commitment to upholding and defending the Black community. Although a number of memoirs (some I've read, others I've yet to) by former Party members exist, I'd yet to come across a YA novel that took on the topic/era from an adolescent (let alone young female) perspective. This and my previous reading experience with Light It Up are what drew m ...more
Laura Aase
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Once again Kekla Magoon has written an important novel about the Black Panther movement. I loved the realness of the main character, Maxie. She's 14 and passionate for change. She lives with her loving older brother who cares for the whole family, and her mom, who loses a lot of jobs, drinks too much and brings a series of men into their home. Maxie, who has a very hard time reading, spends most of her time at the Black Panther office. She is dedicated to the BP movement and wants to be more inv ...more
Ryan Adams
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Fire in the Streets follows the events in Kekla Magoon's novel The Rock and the River. If you have not read the first book, I highly recommend you do that first to get a better understanding of the characters and their motivations. With that being said, Fire in the Streets changes perspectives from Sam Childs to Maxie Brown (Sam's love interest in Rock). Maxie is a 14-year-old African American girl who lives in the ghettos of Chicago in 1968. She is highly interested in the Black Panthers and is ...more
Ms. Stephens
I really enjoyed learning about the philosophy and works of the Black Panthers through this book. As a white person who went to school in the '80s, I only learned that "MLK = nonviolent = good; Malcolm X/Black Panthers = violent = bad," a simplistic - and wrong - view that unfortunately I didn't think to question until recently.

The only thing that makes me hesitant to bring this book to my Quaker classroom is the importance of firearms in the book as a symbol of power and maturity. I understand
Emily Brown
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: eng-420
This book is the sequel to The Rock and the River, and they both deal with black teenagers in the 60's involved in the Black Panther organization. This book was powerful in the sense that it gave a glimpse into a controversial group and helped readers view the world from their perspective. This story's pacing is a bit slower than the first one, and the plot line wasn't as engaging, but the emotion was still evident. Overall, it's a unique look into the Civil rights movement and how i
Mary Kay
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Beautifully written. A wonderful historical fiction resource for students studying the US civil rights movement of the late 60s/early 70s. A heartfelt look at the Black Panther movement from the inside.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel-books
Good, for a novel assignment book. ;) I thought the traitor was going to be Sam all along, but was surprised when it was Raheem.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Slow start but became very emotional. A truly relate-able and touching story.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
3.8 (would have been 4 but the ending felt rushed)
A'Llyn Ettien
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting young-adult historical fiction about the Black Panther Party in Chicago in 1968.
Oct 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Strong story of a young girl deciding who she wants to be, within and without, and the consequences of making those decisions.
Jessica Miller
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lived up to my rather high expectations after finishing the first installment of the series. Great adult reading, really interesting situation, and completely immersing.
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Maxie, Patrice, and Emmalee have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Normally when they're together they're talking a mile a minute, but these are not normal times. As they head to the protest, fearing that riots may break out and promising to stay together, they sit in silence. Maxie knows that these protests are important and she'll have to be brave if she wants to be a Black Panther but Patrice and Emmalee would rather be enjoying what's left of the summer. Soon Emmalee and Pa ...more
Dec 04, 2012 added it
Magoon, K. (2012). Fire in the streets. New York: Simon and Schuster/Aladdin. 336 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4424-2230-8. (Hardcover); $16.99.

Kekla Magoon is an author to watch ( scroll down). One of my favorite books from 2007 is Magoon’s The Rock and the River. At the time, I mentioned in reviews that we have very few books that even mention the Black Panther Party, let alone deal with them in a careful, thorough way. Fire in the Streets continues the story Magoon
 Imani ♥ ☮
The Rock and the River blew me away when I read it, almost two years ago, now. I loved Sam, his brother, the struggle and the romance he had with Maxie...and it was centered in the greatest city in the world: CHICAGO.

So I was thrilled when I found out Magoon was coming out with a sequel, focusing on Sam's girlfriend, Maxie. And, as I did with The Rock and the River, I loved this story as well.

Maxie lives in 1968 Chicago, months after the assassination of MLK. Chicago -especially the Black commu
Ms. Yingling
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
This sequel to The Rock and the River (2009) follows Maxie after the death of her friend Sam's brother Steve. Maxie and Raheem live with their mother in the projects, and are struggling to pay the rent and get food. Sam's family is well off, but reeling from Steve's death. Maxie has two very good friends, Patrice and Emmalee, but neither of them are as interested in working with the Black Panthers as Maxie is. Not content to stuff envelopes and babysit at the office, Maxie wants to be a fully tr ...more
I loved the first in this "series," "The Rock and the River." I was not as enamoured of this novel.

This is Maxie's story, spun off of "The Rock and the River" into a main character here. She is not nearly as complex as Sam, the protagonist in "Rock," and I found her struggles to be superficial at best--every other page it is reiterated into readers' minds that Maxie wants to be a Black Panther. Gone from the first novel are the nuanced arguments for and against nonviolent protest; gone are the v
Carrie G
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was good; definitely a 5-star read. However, it did not live up to "The Rock and the River" in my opinion. "The Rock and the River" had well-rounded, memorable characters and palpable tension... it got so bad and I got so worried that I almost quit reading the book. "Fire in the Streets" just lacked... something. I think maybe it was the character development. In "The Rock and the River" we got to know many sides of Sam (and Stick). We came to truly love this brotherly duo. I never felt that ...more
Michal Hope
This is the second in this series, which I did not realize when I started reading. It doesn't really matter if I read the first book anyway. Maxie is Raheem's little sister trying her best to become a Black Panther in civil rights torn Chicago during a hot summer, when things can happen. She has a friend, Sam, who is a boy, but not quite a boyfriend, whose history is explained in the first book in this series. Maxie and Raheem's mother tries to be a good mother but has trouble providing for her ...more
While I didn't find the writing of Fire in the Streets as metaphorical and full of imagery as The Rock and the River, this companion novel gave me a whole different perspective to the world of the original: the perspective of poverty in black communities in 1968 and how the black power movement moved parallel to, sometimes dovetailing with, that of the anti-war movement. I liked reading from Maxie's female perspective and on seeing how Sam and Maxie's relationship stops, goes, and develops throu ...more
In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Maxie wants nothing more than to join the Black Panthers. She believes in all that they stand for and volunteers at the office every day in hopes of proving to everyone that she has what it takes to become a member. But, she keeps being turned down because they say she's too young. Tired of jobs she considers petty, such as stuffing envelopes and answering the phone, she comes up with a way to prove her readiness. Maxie is determined to find out who the traitor ...more
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-teen-ms
Fire in the Streets takes place after The Rock and the River, and Maxie is trying to become a full-fledged Black Panther. She is a realiable narrator and tells about the events happening in Chicago and the struggles her family is facing.

After reading The Rock and the River I was excited to see there was a companion from Maxie's point of view. Unfortunately, I felt this book fell a little short of the previous book. For me this book is "just there" - there's no real build up to a big event, it's
This novel gets 4 stars for a) illuminating the community activism of the Black Panthers (breakfast/clinic/education class) and b) featuring strong women/girl characters. Though, it moved at a slower pace than 'The Rock and the River' and lacked some of that first novel's emotional power, 'Fire' is an important historical fiction/civil rights/Black history read for tweens & teens.

I applaud Magoon for her research and honesty in capturing the energy, fear, courage, hope and revolutionary spirit o
Ms. B
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Set in Chicago in 1968, this book reads like a slow simmering pot waiting until it comes to it's dramatic boiling point. More than anything, fourteen year old Maxie wants to a Black Panther. But she is told that she must be a couple years older to join. Maxie spends everyone of her free moments at the Panthers headquarters, helping out however they ask. What does she need to do to prove she's really one of them? Can she do whatever it takes to become a full-fledged member? ...more
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“In the white newspapers, they use it against us. They make the Panthers look like we all just want to rip the throats out of some white folks for no good reason. We have good reasons, but we still don't want to do that.” 2 likes
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