Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon - ESSENTIAL

Magoon, Kekla Fire in the Streets, 321 pgs.Aladdin,2012. $15.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence PG.

Maxie, a fourteen year old black girl who lives in the ghetto of Chicago, experiences the fear that pervades the city during a riot in Grant Park. The occasion was the Democratic Convention of 1968, just 5 short weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Although the title of this book describes the unrest in the Chicago streets, there is fire burning elsewhere in many hearts, including Maxies’.  Maxie aches to belong to the Black Panthers, where she feels protected from all the evil in the world.  Maxie soon discovers a traitor in the group and has to decide between her loyalties.  

This book is an immensely satisfying read.  The history of the Black Panthers is outlined somewhat.  But, most of all, one will sense the feelings brewing deep in the hearts of those involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Kekla  Magoon captured that spirit in the first person account of Maxie.   


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