Hilary's Reviews > The Rock and the River

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
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Jul 24, 2011

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bookshelves: grad-class

This is the final book I had to read for my research this summer. Though it was a little slow to start, and a wee didactic/cliche in its theme/message, overall it was pretty good. The setting is 1968 in Chicago, and Sam is caught between his father, a fictional high ranking civil rights activist (Dr. King is a close personal friend, though he never actually appears in the story), and his brother who has started to become involved with the Black Panther movement. When Dr. King is assassinated and a neighborhood boy is arrested without due cause, tensions in the town and home increase, and Sam has to navigate this difficult time.

The second half of the book is much faster and more interesting than the first half, and the characters are very real. This is a historical fiction novel in the sense that it is set in a very particular place and time, and the plot revolves to some degree around the political context. I plan to pair this with "One Crazy Summer" (which I think I put on here before), which is a similar story (ish) but set in Oakland and told from a girl's point of view.
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