THE ROCK AND THE RIVER by Kekla Magoon (Aladdin, 2009) is the story of Sam, one of the sons of famed Civil Rights leader, Roland Childs. Childs preaches nonviolent social protest. Sam has become accustomed to attending the rallies and playing the part of the dutiful son. But now, things are changing. Sam's older brother, Stick, has joined the Black Panther Party putting him at odds with his father. Sam in intrigued by the Panthers, but he is also afraid of how his father will react of he discovers what is going on. When a friend of Sam and Stick's is beaten by cops, Sam is torn between being the good son and joining his brother in the Panther Party.
Magoon addresses an aspect not seen heretofore in YA literature (as far as I can recall). The dynamics of the family ring true. The terrible injustice of history is still difficult to read about even decades after the fact. However, if you want to make this period of time come alive to students, this is an excellent addition to the other books set during this turbulent time.
Interestingly enough, the other book I began to read on the plane is set in Vietnam about 5 years after this novel. Must be time for me to visit my teen and young adult-hood.