Fire From the Rock

( 37 )

Overview

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 ...

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Fire from the Rock

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The year is 1957. The town is Little Rock, Arkansas. The teenager is Sylvia Patterson, and her first year of high school will prove to be anything other than ordinary. As much as her brother, Gary, wants to be chosen as one of the students to integrate Central High School, it is Sylvia who is offered the honor--and the challenge--of being one of the Little Rock Nine. She is a bright, disciplined, and even-tempered young lady who wants nothing more than to enjoy the normal things that high school should bring--basketball games, dances, and the attentions of a handsome young man. Should she leave her friends and her school to be threatened and taunted at Central? Should she take on the burden of being an agent of change? While Sylvia is contemplating this decision, her neighborhood explodes both literally and figuratively, helping Sylvia to make one of the most difficult decisions of her life. This powerful novel presents the struggle for racial integration from the inside out. The reader does not just read about the struggle, he or she has an opportunity to experience it for themselves through the eyes of a young hero struggling just to be an ordinary teen. Reviewer: Louanne Jacobs
VOYA - Robbie L. Flowers
Life is normal for Sylvia in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is the average eighth grade girl: curious about life, interested in boys, and trying to define herself as a teen. Sylvia has friends, family and even a budding romance. But things are about to change. The mere whisper of the word integration threatens to ignite the powder keg that is Little Rock. The year is 1957, and there is talk of integrating Little Rock Central High School. Being one of the first black students to walk those halls seems like an honor to Sylvia. She imagines a whole different world of shiny, new lockers and a library stocked with thousands of titles that she has not read. But the rose-colored lenses through which she had been looking begin to come clearer when she discovers the danger that lies ahead for the black students who plan to attend Central. The hostility in the town that quietly simmered reaches a boiling point when violence touches Sylvia's family. Should it be handled with the nonviolent approach that her parents have embraced or is it time for something more aggressive, as her brother Gary suggests? As the violence escalates, the question becomes whether Sylvia will even live to see the first day of school at Central. This historical fiction novel is a must-have. It keeps the reader engaged with vivid depictions of a time that most young people can only imagine. This title is an essential purchase for any library that serves young people.
KLIATT - KaaVonia Hinton
Using the events that surrounded the black teens, now known as the Little Rock Nine, who were chosen to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, Draper offers an emotional tale about integrity, justice, and determination. A model student and citizen, rising freshman Sylvia Patterson has been chosen to join an elite group of students who will be the first to attend all-white Central High School. Intolerant of racism towards blacks and Jews (her best friend is Jewish), Sylvia knows that it is time to stand up against injustice. But what path should she take? The militant one her brother Gary has chosen? The passive-aggressive one her father has perfected? Or, the religious, just leave it to Jesus one, favored by her mother? To make matters more complicated, there is her first love to think about. Can she leave him at the all-black high school while she goes to Central? An expert at combining several genres to tell a compelling story, Draper reveals Sylvia's innermost thoughts and feelings in diary entries and poetry. Draper skillfully portrays the attitude and climate of late 1950s Arkansas and of the US in general. YA readers might be surprised by the mixed reactions of blacks, some for and some against integration, and the cruelty of the citizens, including the governor, of Arkansas. Figures like Daisy Bates, Elizabeth Eckford, and President Eisenhower will be familiar to history buffs. An informative author's note summarizes the experiences of the Little Rock Nine and suggests further reading. Draper fans will not be disappointed by her second historical fiction book, following the award-winning Copper Sun.
Kirkus Reviews
Sylvia is completing her last year of middle school, and she's excited about going to the local high school with all her friends. But this is not a typical coming-of-age tale because the setting is Little Rock, Ark. in 1957, and there are important decisions to be made that will affect not only Sylvia but all African-Americans. Central High School is to be integrated and Sylvia has been selected as a candidate to enroll. If she attends her segregated school, she's guaranteed a good education as well as an abundance of activities and an assured social life. If she goes to Central, she will be prohibited from participating in clubs, sports and all social events, and will definitely be subjected to threats and danger to herself and her family. In the end, she chooses the option that is right for her. Draper evokes the escalating tensions and violence of that seminal summer, giving them a sense of immediacy via a strong central character. Compelling. (Historical fiction. 11-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525477204
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/16/2007
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 816,557
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.79 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon M. Draper is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller We Beat the Street and the author of many other books for young readers. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    The most dramatic story ever

    I read this book in my fifth grade classroom and the story touched my heart. Even though there are gruesome parts they are overcome by the amazing details. At many parts of the story there are climaxes and you would think there was only one but the author can get your heart beating nomatter what age. I recomend this book for adventure seekers.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fire From the Rock

    FIRE FROM THE ROCK takes place in Little Rock, Arkansas. This book is amazing. 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. I admire her for realizing that it's up to her and her generation to make a difference.
    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. This book is great and the poems in this book were beautiful, meaningful, and inspirational. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a book with heart!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    Really good.

    Very well plotted book. The characters' thoughts are well understood and you can easily describe all the characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Omg this Omg

    This was a very good book! I was so amazed when i read this book because i actually found something worth reading. I am going to read all of the books the author writes

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    SHARON M DRAPER HAS FONE IT AGAIN!!

    Sharon did a magnificent job writing this book. I love this book!! A+

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    Fire From the Rock

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 1, 2009

    Fire From The Rock

    Fire from the rock was a great book. I liked it because it was about segregation. This book though me that back then black and white people really hated hated each other. Sylvia Patterson was chosen to integrate the school. A couple other students from the black school were chosen. Sylvia was not sure if she wantad to make a change.
    I would recommend this book to my friends or to other people. I really liked the ending. The author did a fantastic job. The book was easy to read so any person can read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fire from the Rock

    Fire from the Rock by Sharon M. Draper is an amazing book. This is a really good historical book because it takes place during the Civil Rights act. More over it talks about an African American girl who struggles with racial threats and comments. If you are a person who likes romance and mystery this is a book I will recommend to you.

    Like I say I will recommend this book to somebody that likes mystery and romance. This time I want to be more specific and recommend this book to all color people. Why? Well because I think that all black people should get an understanding of how much suffering and miser their ancestors had to go through. I am recommending this book because as a girl I need to get to know and understand what was going on with black people long time ago.

    Sharon M. Draper is one of my favorite's authors after AVI. Her book Fire from the rock is phenomenal. I will like to read another book by her. The book that I have in mind is November's Blues. This book starts when a teenager name November Nelson loses her boyfriend, Josh. Josh left something behind that will change Novembers live forever. Now November has faced with the biggest decision she would ever imagine. So now I can't wait to know what did Josh left behind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    I really liked it.

    I liked it because it was well thought out, and it wasn't rushed at all. I also liked the fact that it had a fair amount of action in it, which kept me exited, and most of all, I liked the history behind all of it and how it fits in perfectley with the story..

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2013

    Grear book

    This was a great book! I loved it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Hello my name is braylyn

    How are you guys

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    GREAT!!

    This book is great, I love Mrs. Draper

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Hated it

    No offense but i hated it!!! :p wasnt that bad but i did not like it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    One word..... "inspiring"

    This book is about a girl named sylvia. She faces many obsticals in here life such as a fire. She is accepted to be a big hero... but is debateing wether shes going to do it or not. She finally gets a boyfriend when something terrible happens... read the book to find out!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Lovely

    Sharon M. Draper is a wounderful author i lov this book i would recommed this to people who like ro read and those who dont it is an oit standing book..........

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 29, 2011

    this book is an Awesome book its a good book to read.

    you should read this book it was emotional but it a book i would recomend becuase of all the details, facts and it had so much time and effort put into it this is definatley a book i would recomend to others

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 26, 2010

    Lessons Learned

    This book teaches young black people to be graeteful for the way people treat us. And for the things we are able to do.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great historical fiction

    Fire From the Rock chronicles the experience of the students who integrated Little Rock public schools during the Civil Rights Movement. Sharon Draper's fictional yet realistic characters bring history to life and help connect today's young people to this important event in our history. A great addition to your Draper collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2008

    Sharon Draper's Style of Writing

    I have never read a book by Sharon Draper before reading Fire from the Rock, so I can¿t really comment on her past experiences in writing with her other novels. However, I did enjoy this book. I am in school to become a middle level educator, so if I were ever to teach a reading class, I would use this book. Not only does the book discuss integration, it also deals with family relationships, growing up in a rural town, and the battles of being a middle school student. Middle level teachers should consider using this book in their classroom because it is an easy read and it also touches on the subjects previously mentioned. In my college course where we read this book, a student even used this book to present a mini-lesson to show a post-reading activity. With that being said, this book will work well with either doing a pre, during, or post reading activity with students since a lot of information is given in the text. Although the book started out slow for me, I recommend this text because it is the type of book that should be presented in classrooms, especially when discussing integration issues. I believe that every middle level student who reads this book can walk away from it gaining something or learning something about his or her own life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    Fire from the Rock

    Sharon Draper tells a story about what is happening inside the homes of people who are facing the Civil Rights Movement. She tells about the brave children that stand up for what they believe in and how this affects them and their families. This story is very true of its time and must be told. We see the hardships children and families go through that not everyone knows or wants to know about.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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