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Reviews and Praise for 
                      THE ROCK AND THE RIVER
"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."
                                                --Kirkus Reviews


Author Reviews

"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)

What a rich and passionate debut novel! Magoon takes us inside the world of civil rights politics as it threatens to tear apart a black family in Chicago at the time of Martin Luther King’s assassination. Two brothers square off with each other and their father as each struggles to find for himself the "right" way to confront racism. With both intensity and humor, the story that unfolds is at once riveting, disquieting, and ultimately most satisfying. 

   --Ellen Levine, author of Henry's Freedom Box (Caldecott
                                               Award) and Freedom’s Children

Blog Reviews and Comments

"Magoon captures the setting and voice of Chicago in the 1960s. Sam's confusion about what he believes and how to act is realistic and captivating."
                                     --King County Library System (Read full review here)

"In the course of Sam Childs' coming of age story, amidst the American history I thought I knew so well, author Kekla Magoon has radically altered my understanding of the Black Panther Party. In her debut novel, Magoon, who studied history as an undergraduate, does an exceptional job of integrating many sides of very complex racial and political issues into this tense tale of an adolescent who has grown up in the Civil Rights Movement." 
                                                             --Richie's Picks (Read full review here)

"This is an interesting and compelling look at the complex relationship between the hope and despair of the inner-cities in America in 1968, especially as represented by The Black Panther Party, from which emerged a new and strength and pride of heritage for African-Americans."
                    --John S., Westchester Library System (Read full review here)

"The Rock and the River will make an excellent addition to any library."
                             --The Happy Nappy Bookseller (Read full review here.)
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