"Magoon's first novel shows movingly how the two sons of a civil rights leader come to bear the cost of the struggle. In the fictional, but convincingly detailed, world of the book...the younger boy, Sam - not sure what or whom to believe - tells the story and has to decide how it will end."
--The New York Times Book Review
"As it stands, Kekla Magoon's book is an original. There are few enough books out there like it, and I think we have room in this world for more. A smart, sensible, deeply layered title. A necessary addition to our shelves from a time period too often colored in black and white terms."
--Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production
«"True to the young teen's viewpoint, this taut eloquent first novel will make readers feel what it was like to be young, black and militant 40 years ago, including the seething fury and desperation over the daily discrimination that drove the oppressed to fight back. ...An important title for YA American History classes."
--Hazel Rochman, Booklist, starred review
"Magoon portrays well the tension between the Panthers and the Civil Rights Movement. ...This is an important book about a historical reality that has not been dealt with in juvenile fiction."
--School Library Journal
"This compelling debut novel set in 1968 Chicago vividly depicts how one African-American family is torn between two opposing approaches to the Civil Rights Movement. ....Magoon is unflinching in her depictions of police brutality and racism. She offers readers a perspective that is rarely explored, showing that racial prejudices were not confined to the South and that the Civil Rights Movement was a truly national struggle."
"This is an essential story that has been waiting for its time and its teller. Kekla Magoon combines careful research, deep understanding, and unflinching clarity to bring her characters to life. A brave and brilliant accomplishment."
--Helen Frost, author of Keesha's House (Printz Honor Book) and The Braid
“Here we are so far it seems into Dr. King’s incredible Dream that it’s hard to believe how recently the Civil Rights Movement rocked America to its roots and changed the world, forever. Sam may be a fiction but he is the embodiment of a conflict that reached its dizzying peak in the spring of 1968. He finds himself in a place where he can see only action and no consequences, where the only place you can’t stand is still. 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 (Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor)