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Other titles in the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent series:

The Rock and the River


The Rock and the River Cover

ISBN13: 9781416978039
ISBN10: 1416978038
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1968 Chicago, itand#8217;s not easy for thirteen-year-old Sam to be the son of known civil rights activist Roland Childs. Especially when his older brother, Stick, starts keeping to himself. Then, one day, Sam finds something under Stickand#8217;s bed that changes everything: literature about the Black Panthers. Suddenly, nothing feels certain anymore. And when Dr. King is shot and killed, Samand#8217;s fatherand#8217;s words are no longer enough to make him believe in changeand#8230;.This moving, coming-of-age story gracefully encompasses the scope of the struggle between the civil rights and black power movements through an intimate and relatable lens.


The Rock and the River is Kekla Magoon’s poignant debut novel about an African-American boy's search for identity and brotherhood set in 1968 Chicago.

About the Author

Kekla Magoon has worked with youth-serving nonprofit organizations in New York City and Chicago. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and her first novel, The Rock and the River, won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. She resides in New York City and you can visit her at

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Beverly B, March 3, 2013 (view all comments by Beverly B)
The Rock and the River is a memorable historical fiction set in the height of the civil rights movement. The very real and emotional conflict centers on a young teen torn between his parents belief in, and work for, Dr. King's non-violent methods and his older brother's belief in, and work for, the Black Panthers. All of the characters are committed to change and willing to suffer the consequences of their actions, but protective of their families and friends. Sam, and his brother, Sticks, are fully developed characters, whose struggles to make a difference and figure out the right thing to do will engage the reader. Author Kekla Magoon brilliantly shows the complexity and depth of both the Black Panthers and non-violent protest points of view in the fight for civil rights. And she does it without taking sides on which group did more or which group was better. She also did not neatly wrap up the moral conflicts of Sam and Sticks with a simple resolution. The Rock and The River is a great read for teens and adults.
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Product Details

Magoon, Kekla
Boys / Men
Social Issues - Prejudice & Racism
Family - Siblings
Children s-General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 5 up to 9
f-c cvr
7.62 x 5.12 in 7 oz
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Awards » Coretta Scott King Award Winners
Children's » Featured Titles
Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » 20th Century
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Prejudice and Racism

The Rock and the River New Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Aladdin Paperbacks - English 9781416978039 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Rock and the River is Kekla Magoon’s poignant debut novel about an African-American boy's search for identity and brotherhood set in 1968 Chicago.
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