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The Rock and the River

Written by: Kekla Magoon
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, Teens, 2011

For 13-year-old Sam it's not easy being the son of known civil-rights activist Roland Childs. Especially when his older (and best) friend, Stick, begins to drift away from him for no apparent reason. And then it happens: Sam finds something that changes everything forever. 

Sam has always had faith in his father, but when he finds literature about the Black Panthers under Stick's bed, he's not sure who to believe: his father or his best friend. Suddenly, nothing feels certain anymore. 

Sam wants to believe that his father is right: You can effect change without using violence. But as time goes on, Sam grows weary of standing by and watching as his friends and family suffer at the hands of racism in their own community. Sam beings to explore the Panthers with Stick, but soon he's involved in something far more serious - and more dangerous - than he could have ever predicted. Sam is faced with a difficult decision. Will he follow his father or his brother? His mind or his heart? The rock or the river? 

©2010 Kekla Magoon (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

"While the image of the Black Panther Party is somewhat idealized, this is an important book about a historical reality that has not been dealt with in juvenile fiction." ( School Library Journal)
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  • Jerry K Lee
  • 2018-05-29

A well told story which endures

The timeless story of fathers, sons, the pull of social events make this a classical tale for the ages. Even though things change, they still stay the same with racial hatred, violently radical political viewpoints, unchecked police power and citizen abuse. Think about the time and space the story takes place and today. It appears we have not advanced one inch.....

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  • Cynthia Rooley
  • 2016-03-15


brought the racial. problems home to the family level. insightful and moving. junior high really enjoyed this story

1 person found this helpful