Fire From The Rock by Sharon M. Draper | Book Review

Black History Month was the perfect time to read Fire From The Rock by Sharon M. Draper. This is a book I purchased that had been on my shelf for at least 9 years. So, while yes, February was a good time to read it, I definitely should have read it prior to February 2021. After all, I had previously read Copper Sun, also by Draper and found it to be an excellent and informative read. As it turns out, Fire From The Rock was also excellent and informative.

Draper’s Fire From The Rock is about a teenage girl named Sylvia Patterson. The book opens with Sylvia walking home from school with her sister DJ, when DJ is attacked by a hound dog owned by some racist asshole. Sylvia runs home with her sister and her aunt, and well things go from there. As it turns out, the year is 1957. Sylvia and her family live in Little Rock which is about to have their schools integrated. When the book opens, Sylvia goes to one of the all Black schools. She likes her school and is prepared to go to Horace Mann, the all Black high school. However, Sylvia is presented with a decision. Her name has been submitted as one of the students to integrate with the white school.

I still cannot believe I waited years to get to this book. Sharon M. Draper is a wonderful writer that really can transport you to different moments in history. I felt like Sylvia’s story was an intimate read about a girl who had a tough decision to make. This book pulls no punches, it is very honest that while Sylvia would have better access to newer books, better facilities, there’s still a tradeoff. She would lose out on being surrounded by her peers and being taught by people who look like her.

Also, we learn that her brother Gary wanted to be one of the ones to integrate but was not chosen because of his temper. However, Gary is a good outlet for us readers, because honestly, he is rightfully angry. I thought his character was a master stroke by Draper. Overall, Fire From The Rock is a book you should pick up if you want to learn more about the integration of the Little Rock schools and a perspective you might not have considered before. It is a quick, approachable sort of read and the characterization is realistic and well-written.


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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