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Fire From the Rock Hardcover – August 16, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (August 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525477209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525477204
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

An honor student, Sylvia Patterson is thrilled when she is chosen as one of the first black students to integrate all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. But the racism in her town is terrifying, and she is not sure she can go through with it. Unlike her older brother, she does not want to be a hero and change the world. Besides, many in her black community are against integration; why not stay with her friends, concentrate on academics, and get to college? With stirring complexity, Draper personalizes the civil rights struggle beyond slogans and politics. There is sometimes too much historical background purposively woven into Sylvia's narrative, including her diary entries. But the surprising turnaround in the plot, as well as the shocking facts, will grab readers and raise the elemental issue: what would I have done? A final note fills in history and provides a list of Web sites. Pair this with Robert Sharenow's My Mother the Cheerleader (2007), about a white kid whose mother is part of the racist mob. Rochman, Hazel

Review

Draper neatly intertwines history, pop culture, and emotion as she explores the turbulent era of Civil Rights through the eyes of an African-American teen. The year is 1957 and Sylvia Faye is chosen to be one of the first black students to enter Central High School in the racially charged town of Little Rock, AR, where the owner of the barbershop has “trained his dogs to attack Negroes.” She is excited and honored but also very scared. She worries about her older brother who challenges whites with his fists instead of following her noble example by excelling in school and walking away from trouble. Sylvia Faye’s character is very real and appealing, and the frank dialogue is both educational and refreshing. The text alternates between third-person narrative and Sylvia Faye’s journal entries, allowing readers to experience her thoughts and fears about the important decision she must make. The author’s ability to explore numerous prejudices subtly without bogging down readers with too much backstory is impressive, and she effectively shows the enormity of the decision and the tenor of the times. —School Library Journal

More About the Author

Sharon Draper is a two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author, most recently for Copper Sun, and previously for Forged by Fire. She's also the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Author Award for New Talent for Tears of a Tiger and the Coretta Scott King Author Honor for The Battle of Jericho and November Blues. Her other books include Romiette and Julio, Darkness Before Dawn, and Double Dutch. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years. She's a popular conference speaker, addressing educational and literary groups both nationally and internationally.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a book with heart!
Edgar Flores
Every time I had to put this book down I was in a funk until I was able to get back to it.
Hugh L. Fletcher
This is a great book that I am using in my 7th grade English class.
Stephanie Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Reader for Life! on October 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Being that we were having Mrs. Sharon Draper herself come to our school as a guest speaker, I chose Fire From the Rock to read to all the 8th graders before her arrival. I can't tell you how riveting and realistic this story is. The references were chilling. The people were real. The plot was daunting. Our students loved this book. Many asked to read it again. What is the reality of 250 8th graders wanting to read a historical fiction book twice? If you want to give your students an inside peek to what was really going on during the Civil Rights Movement, this is an excellent book. Bravo Sharon Draper!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Yanar on December 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a reading teacher, I am constantly looking for exciting young adult literature to expose my students to. Sharon Draper is my go to author many times. I was first introduced to her by her Hazelwood Triology. With "Fire from the Rock", Ms. Draper has elevated herself from an author who appeals to young adult readers by writing topics that they can relate to, to an author who also teaches them history in a way that they will actually pay attention to and get something out of it. In "Fire from the Rock", readers hear a first person as well as third person account of the struggle for segregation. This novel illustrates with such emotional beauty what it was like for the people in Little Rock who were personally experiencing the drama that most of America was watching unfold from the comfort and safety of their homes. A must read for parents and teenagers, and a perfect opportunity for a history lesson for a generation who seem to live with the mindset that the past should stay in the past.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amor on June 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There was so much sixpence. I loved it. It might too harsh for children younger than the age of 10.
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Format: Paperback
Great fiction comes from powerful realities." Thus states Sharon Draper as she describes her own past that was woven into Fire from the rock. Draper was a child in 1957, the year this story takes place. One of her best friends at that time was a little Jewish girl and she watched the events in Little Rock on her fuzzy black and white television. Me, I wasn't born until October of that year.

Sylvia is a smart young lady who works hard in high school, listens to her parents and is experiencing young love. Like everyone in her school, she's aware of the plans to integrate the white high school next year. She knows that some of the white city leaders will interview prospective Black students to select those they feel are most appropriate. The Whites on the committee are known for their racist agendas. They want Blacks who work hard in school, can control their temper (because they will be provoked) and who can accept the limitations that will be placed upon them (such as not being allowed to attend school events). Sylvia's brother, Gary, wants to be among those chosen. Their family is well respected and Gary is also quite responsible. He feels that the nation is at the brink of change and for him, it can't change fast enough. He's a hot head and will not be selected to participate in desegregating the schools. But, Sylvia is.

When we think of this time and the images we've seen, we assume that everyone was ready and willing to march in the streets, sit at the counters and do everything they could to change their world. But, Draper gives us a much more real picture which included those who wanted to see a change, but were scared of becoming involved in the process of change, and rightfully so.
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By Edgar Flores on September 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
The name of the book is "FIRE FROM THE ROCK", written by Sharon M. Draper. It takes place in Little Rock, Arkansas. This book has a lot of feeling because the book makes you feel sorry for her and so many other emotions while reading. I absolutely loved it! I admire Sylvia for being so strong and brave when she had to make such an important and life changing decision. The plot of the story is basically how Sylvia, who hates white people, gets chosen to attend an all white school. She wants to go, but at the same time, doesn't want to leave her friends behind.
Back then, segregation was a serious issue and some people thought integration was even worse! I'm glad that segregation is over or our generation would suffer the consequences. What I loved about the book the most were the poems. They were what really caught my attention because they were beautiful, meaningful, inspirational and even more emotional than the book itself! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a book with heart!
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By Stephanie Lee on February 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book that I am using in my 7th grade English class. My kids love it and are learning a great deal about school segregation and integration, as well as how to be true to yourself. I highly recommend this to anyone wanting a great fictionalized account of an important time period in our nation's history. The author does a great job of making this time come to life with accurate historical information.
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By Sonja Benson on December 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I choose this rating because it was a very descriptive novel. It gave me a visual description of the text.
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By Mr. Williams on November 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book shares a wonderful story of the segregation in Little Rock in the 1950s. Take a chance on this book and you will be swept away by the plot.
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