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Fire from the Rock by Sharon Draper
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Fire from the Rock (edition 2008)

by Sharon Draper

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226None51,207 (3.98)4
Member:melissadorish
Title:Fire from the Rock
Authors:Sharon Draper
Info:Speak (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Historical Fiction, Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:historical fiction, racism, segregation, family, rage, coming-of-age, love, friendship, acceptance

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Fire From the Rock by Sharon Draper

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RGG: Historical fiction, emphasis on the historical, about the events leading up to the integration of Little Rock, AK, Central High School. Sylvia and her family are likeable, and there is some boyfriend-girlfriend stuff. But the plot primarily serves as a vehicle to all the historical detail and happenings. Reading Level: 10-14.
  rgruberexcel | Oct 25, 2013 |
RGG: Historical fiction, emphasis on the historical, about the events leading up to the integration of Little Rock, AK, Central High School. Sylvia and her family are likeable, and there is some boyfriend-girlfriend stuff. But the plot primarily serves as a vehicle to all the historical detail and happenings. Reading Level: 10-14.
  rgruberexcel | Mar 15, 2013 |
If you had the chance to change history at the possible expense of your happiness and maybe even your life, would you do it? That is the question that plagues 15-year-old Sylvia Patterson in Fire From the Rock by Sharon M. Draper. Set in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957, this historical fiction novel follows the events of school segregation through the eyes of Sylvia, a black girl who wants nothing more than to go to school with her crush Reggie Birmingham.

But when her teacher announces that a select number of students will be attending all-white Central High in the fall, Sylvia begins to wonder if she could be someone to take a stand and make a difference. Encouraged by her strong-willed, angry, yet loving older brother Gary and her supportive yet scared parents, Sylvia decides to place her name on the list for consideration. What follows is mixed reactions from friends and family members. In a dairy told through first person, Sylvia vacillates between wanting to be a normal teenager in a school with friends and Reggie or to be someone to change history. Events occur that cause Sylvia to doubt her decision.

The themes in this book include racism, segregation, family, rage, coming-of-age, love, friendship, and acceptance. Draper’s writing style is easy to follow but at times it seems forced and unnatural. This novel would appeal to students ages 12 – 15.

This book could be paired with a true story of desegregation. A teacher could use it to discuss one of the many struggles that African Americans have faced over hundreds of years. In order to insure its historical accuracies, teachers could pair it with text books or non-fiction books on American history. Historical fiction provides an opportunity for readers to question texts – if it’s in print, does that make it true? Pairing the fiction work with the non-fiction facts can help students become more critical readers.

The Little Rock Nine by Stephanie Fitzgerald could be a great choice to pair with this book as it tells the story from the point of view of those who integrated. Remember Little Rock: The Time, the People, the Stories by Paul Robert Walker chronicles the story from all sides. ( )
  melissadorish | Dec 6, 2012 |
Sylvia Patterson, an African American high school junior in Little Rock, deals with the typical teenage issues of boys and family relationships. However, life is not typical when Little Rock begins integration and Sylvia is chosen as a candidate to go to the "white school." Sylvia must face opposition from white community members who think she would "contaminate" the high school, as well as her own classmates who feel she is betraying their heritage. This book does a good job of showing a non-stereotypical picture of a teenage girl who must face adult situations, though sometimes the dialogue is stilted. Recommended for ages 12-16.

Awards: NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Committee as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People for 2008; also honored on the 2008 New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age. ( )
  saraherndon | Apr 30, 2010 |
Sylvia Patterson is a young woman pushed into uncomfortable cirumstances by the currents of history: she is among the first black students to attend a newly integrated Central High School. Doing so, however, means acknowledging the difficulties of making a difference and possibly risking her friends and family.
  thomaslibrarian | Apr 27, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014241199X, Paperback)

Sylvia 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 the fall of 1957, whether people 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In 1957, Sylvia Patterson's life--that of a normal African American teenager--is disrupted by the impending integration of Little Rock's Central High when she is selected to be one of the first black students to attend the previously all white school. Includes author's note and related websites.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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