Monday, December 1, 2008

Fire From the Rock

I am back from Montana, having had a great time despite 30 hours in our van. I didn't get to read the entire 30 hours, but I tried my best, and ended up getting three, almost four, books read.

Fire from the Rock by Sharon Draper was one of my road trip books. I love children's/young adult historical fiction, which is probably my favorite genre. Draper's book was a great read that I finished in one sitting. Sylvia Ann is growing up in Little Rock in 1957 and in addition to growing up and noticing boys, is also experiencing racist feelings and acts firsthand. Her older brother is angry about his place as an African American male during this time and has a hard time keeping his anger in check. Sylvia is being considered to be among the first African American students to integrate Central High School, something she must think hard about before making her decision. Sylvia also has a friend who is Jewish, which adds another dimension to the idea of segregation since Jews were not treated well by many whites at that time, either. I enjoyed Sylvia's diary entries the most, yet I found myself wondering if they weren't a little too "adult." The content was not inappropriate, it is more that the depth of Sylvia's feelings and insight into the time period seemed too grown-up for her twelve, almost thirteen year old, character. This book was enjoyable to read from start to finish and gives good historical information about a troubling time period in our nation's history. I would happily recommend this book to any reader.

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