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Fire in the Streets

by Kekla Magoon

Published by Aladdin / Simon & Schuster, 2012
321 pages
ISBN: 978𢴒424-22308

Age 12 and older

Fourteen-year-old Maxie spends a lot of time at the Black Panther office. She抯 eager to become a full-fledged Panther like her older brother, Raheem. The Panthers have purpose and passion and she wants to be part of making a difference. Instead, she抯 given menial tasks, from stuffing and sealing envelopes to babysitting. At home, Maxie抯 family life is unraveling梙er mother, marginally reliable at the best of times, has lost her job and is bringing home men to try to plug the economic hole in their lives. Raheem is trying to help make ends meet, but can抰 do enough for the family to avoid an eviction notice. Meanwhile, an attack on the Panther office by police intensifies Maxie抯 desire to become a real Panther and carry a gun梥he was the only one not able to fire back in the chaos. Then it becomes clear someone is in the office is passing information to the police, and Maxie decides she抣l prove her worth by figuring out who it is. Kekla Magoon抯 sequel to The Rock and the River (Aladdin, 2009) stands on its own, illuminating the discrimination and poverty that motivate Maxie, and the divide between the African American community in 1968 Chicago and white society, even whites such as war protestors who stand against the status quo. Magoon抯 writing keeps getting better as she skillfully offers insight into this time and place through characters who represent a variety of perspectives and experiences.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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