Posted in Mock Newbery Picks

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

rockSummary: In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father’s nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party. 290 p., Aladdin.

Find it at WCPL



I'm a librarian at the Eva Perry Regional Library.

6 thoughts on “The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

  1. The Rock and the River was very well written although the plot and characters were not that exceptional. I thought the characters were a little underdeveloped. The highlight for me was the point of view the story is told in. I loved how the story was told through Sam’s eyes.

    1. I honestly disagree with the reply. The Rock and the River was a fantastic historical fiction that displayed real life events that occured during the middle of the Civil Rights movement.

  2. This historical fiction book is great. The plot and characters are nearly perfect how Sam is trying to choose between the Rock and the River…all in all this book is easily in my Top 3 (possibly my #1 vote).

  3. In my view, this is the best book of the year.

    Throughout the entire book, Sam is stuck between the views of the two dominant figures in his life, his brother and his father. Unlike in many other books, there is no definite right or wrong, good or bad side. He alternates between what his father belives and what his brother belives. He comes to understand the entirety of what each view entails and, at the end of the book, reaches the point at which he has to decide. The Rock or the River?

    This is the book that I think should win the Newbery award. It’s the book that I want my children to read.

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