Friday, February 11, 2011

The Rock and the River

With everything that has happened in Egypt the past few weeks, it seems like a very appropriate time to talk about a fabulous book I read last month, The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon.
I had a long delay in the Detroit airport, but I hardly noticed because I was so eager to find out what would happen in this story.

Kekla is a graduate of Vermont College and was a grad assistant at the January residency.

The Rock and the River was Kekla's debut novel and it received many honors, including the Coretta Scott King award from the American Library Association.

The story is fictional, but the characters are so well drawn and the historical details so authentic, that I was convinced Sam Childs was the son of a 1960s civil rights leader. Not until I reached the author's note at the end did I realize Kekla had invented him.
Sam is torn between taking his father's route of non-violent protest or fighting back against the corrupt system that constantly oppresses those in his neighborhood - based solely on their skin color. The choice moves right into the Childs' home when Sam's older brother joins the Black Panther Party. The story prompts the reader to wonder - what would I do in that situation? What is the right answer?

Here is an interview with Kekla talking about the book.

Publisher: Aladdin: Simon & schuster
Editor: Kate Angelella
Agent: Michelle Humphrey of International Creative Management

Kekla has a new book out called Camo Girl. I look forward to reading it soon.