Thursday, March 27, 2008
Fire from the Rock by Sharon Draper
It's 1957 in Little Rock Arkansas and Central High School admits only white students. Students at the black high schools in town are hearing that this is the year to integrate the schools. They only want to take exemplary students who are smart, motivated, good leaders, and committed to nonviolence. Sylvia's teachers see that she is something special and recommend her for "the list." But Sylvia isn't sure she can give up her friends, boyfriend, and safety to change the world. There are a lot of surprises and complex issues in this book—I was definitely shocked by two of the plot twists toward the end. The most vivid part to me was the depiction of the outright racism and cruelty of many of the white citizens of the town. It bothered me that frequently the dialog between Sylvia and her friends seems stilted and formal, which took me out of the story. It just didn't sound like teenagers talking to each other. I recommend this book to people interested in understanding what life was like during the Civil Rights Movement.