Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Fire From the Rock

Sylvia Patterson is shocked and confused when she is asked to be one of the first black students to attend Central High School, which is scheduled to be integrated in September 1957, whether the citizens or governor of Arkansas like it or not. Before Sylvia makes her final decision, smoldering racial tension in the town ignites into flame. When the smoke clears, she sees clearly that nothing is going to stop the change from coming. It is up to her generation to make it happen, in as many different ways as there are colors in the world.
I do think this is a good book, but there is something about it that is preventing me from giving it an enthusiastic yay. Draper addresses many issues in this book such as segregation/integration, racial hatred towards both Black and Jewish people, friendship between a Black teen and a Jewish teen, non-violent father and militant son, first love, and making tough decisions and she created a main character who is strong and likeable. My main problem is that I think some of the situations in this book seem a little unbelievable to me (like the fire for instance). I can't wait to hear how others feel about this one. For now, I give it a MAYBE.


At December 29, 2007 at 11:05 AM , Blogger kathy said...

The topic of the book is worth having in the library. I don't think it is Thumbs Up worthy due to the writing that is poorly crafted. I found myself counting to the point of distraction the overused adverbs describing people's mannerisms, speaking and thinking. "said calmly" "sighed deeply" "watched quietly"
"asked angrily" "said bitterly" "said flatly" "explained quietly" "said gently" "asked angrily" "replied philosophically" "whimpered softly" - the last five just on page 9.

Maybe her editor could have helped hone the craft and elicited more descriptions rather than relying on repetitive and unsupported adverbs. The direct dialog is better written than the narrative. I felt like the narrative was telling rather than showing.

I stopped at page 60, promising myself to read it once I am through the Thumbs Up titles.


At January 8, 2008 at 11:36 AM , Blogger Kara Fredericks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At January 8, 2008 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Kara Fredericks said...

I really liked this book, but agree that it is not Thumbs Up worthy. I agree with Zandra that it is rather unbelievable that so much could happen to one girl/family. For readers advisory purposes I like that this book is good for a wide age range of readers.

At January 8, 2008 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Kara Fredericks said...


At January 28, 2008 at 12:34 PM , Blogger Anne Keller said...

Nay, nay, nay.


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