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Extended Audio Sample The Rock and the River Audiobook, by Kekla Magoon Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,037 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kekla Magoon Narrator: Dion Graham Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9781441858689
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For thirteen-year-old Sam it’s not easy being the son of known civil rights activist Roland Childs. Especially when his older brother (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 begins 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?

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mk | 2/13/2014

    " Sam is caught between the words of his father, a civil rights leader, and the actions of his brother who has joined the Black Panthers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 2/12/2014

    " Recommend for getting view of Black Panthers that is seldom heard. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 2/2/2014

    " This is a powerful coming-of-age story set in Chicago during the Civil Rights Movement. Sam Childs is stuck between the nonviolent approach of his crusading father and his best friend and older brother Stick, a member of the Black Panther Party. I was immediately sucked into the story and its fictional depictions of racism and conflict alongside touches of reality, including the assassination of Martin Luther King. The audiobook production is very well done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacqueline | 1/29/2014

    " Powerful and thought provoking! Good book to read after reading One Crazy Summer "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pauline | 1/29/2014

    " I thought this was a great young adult read. Interesting characters and an engaging story set in an important time period. I recommend it to all! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 1/25/2014

    " So I was looking at my book list and it seemed that the last bunch of books that I read all said that I was expecting more...well finally I got more! This book was amazing. All of the characters were well developed and experienced change. Even characters that could have been flat had more then one dimension. That was what really made this book for me. I felt that at the end Sam came into his own and grew up but was surrounded by a cast of people that would make him grow more. This was a very satisfying book and a must read!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 1/23/2014

    " Growing up in Chicago in 1968, Sam is the son of a prominent civil rights leader who follows Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. However, the journey to equality is taking longer than anyone expected, so Sam's older brother, Stick, joins the Black Panthers. This not only tears the family apart, but puts Sam in an awkward position of trying to belong with his parents and protect his brother. All of this comes to a boiling point at a demonstration for a wrongly imprisoned man. I did not have high hopes for this book, but I was proven wrong. I thought it would be preachy and dry, but readers will come to really care about Sam and Stick. And the writing is so fluid. It's not plot driven exactly, but it is so emotionally intense at times that it cannot be put down. At times, I really forgot that this was a children's book, it's so remarkable. What I thought would be my least favorite Caudill, has turned out to be in the running. I honestly hope this makes the top five. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie Jane | 1/15/2014

    " This book does a great job of showing both the pacifist and militant sides of the civil rights movement in the sixties. And how difficult the choice betweent the two could be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kadeef Salaam | 12/26/2013

    " This book is awesome! Everyone should read this book, every single page is full of excitement and thrills. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Welch | 12/16/2013

    " Great book to teach about the Civil Right Movement. It really gets into the debate about MLK, Jr or the Black Panthers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mimi | 12/12/2013

    " Good authors note with info about black panthers and civil rights. Starts out a little shallow but gets better as the characters have more time to develop. I didn't read the whole thing, but that's my sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audra | 9/17/2013

    " I really enjoyed this one, but the ending annoyed me a bit. There were a couple of very emotional places in it and the way that Magoon writes is beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabrielle Louise | 8/3/2013

    " This is a great book to assign to middle-schoolers for Black History Month. It gives a fictional account of a boy who was associated with the emerging Black Panther Party. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Llamalover | 4/24/2013

    " This book surprised me because I don't usually read these kind of books and like them. But this book was different for me. I liked the storyline and the history mixed in with it. This book did seem kind of long and I was shocked at the end when his brother died. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 1/16/2013

    " Set in 1968, this novel catches many of the ideas and emotions of the '60's. At times violent and often intense, it is well-worth reading for anyone trying to learn about the civil rights movement or even about that era. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole Jennelle | 3/14/2012

    " A perfect YA uncensored introduction to racism, civil rights and the Black Panthers through the eyes of a 12 year old boy in 1968 Chicago. I cried my mascara off and checked my white privilege with deep shame and shock. Give it to all the children. All of the children. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessie | 3/13/2012

    " Eh. Good story, not on my reading-level. Recommended for 11-12 year olds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiana | 12/14/2011

    " This was a brilliant book. It made me so emotional. Very well written and told. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monika | 8/22/2011

    " BEST BOOK IN THE WORLD! dont judge it by its cover! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacqueline | 5/15/2011

    " Powerful and thought provoking! Good book to read after reading One Crazy Summer "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 4/26/2011

    " As Booklist described readers feel the seething fury and desperation of this time in history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucia | 4/26/2011

    " Good book for looking at multiple perspectives on Civil Rights. Great main character. You really see his growth! Interesting story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johnsol | 4/17/2011

    " Very good historical fiction. Powerful protagonists and great coming of age in a turbulent time. Gave me some background on the Black Panthers that triggered many memories from my childhood through young adulthood. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth/Sr. Elizabeth | 3/21/2011

    " This was an amazing book about the civil rights movement that put me right in the shoes of someone living through it. I was horrified by what went on and came to a new understanding of why people had to fight back. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacia | 3/8/2011

    " Really nice historical fiction - Sam is a young teen caught between his father, a well-known civil rights leader and minister, and his older brother who becomes involved with the Black Panther Party. Powerful story! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 3/6/2011

    " Inside look at the Black Panthers in Chicago in 1968 - the symbolism of the rock and the river matches two brothers' struggle to maintain their father's peaceful methods as violence explodes all around them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 3/2/2011

    " Great book to teach about the Civil Right Movement. It really gets into the debate about MLK, Jr or the Black Panthers. "

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About the Author
Author Kekla Magoon

Kekla Magoon has worked with youth-serving nonprofit organizations in New York City and Chicago. She holds an MFA in writing for children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first novel, The Rock and the River, won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for new talent.

About the Narrator

Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. Winner of fifteen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.