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Kekla Magoon Books In Order

Publication Order of Rock and the River Books

The Rock and the River (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
37 Things I Love (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Robyn Hoodlum Books

Shadows of Sherwood (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rebellion of Thieves (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Reign of Outlaws (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Camo Girl (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fire in the Streets (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
How It Went Down (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
X (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Season of Styx Malone (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Light It Up (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Today the World is Watching You (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kekla Magoon
Kekla Magoon is a bestselling American based Cameroonian author of nonfiction, young adult, and historical fiction books best known for her young adult books, The Season of Styx Malone, How It Went Down, and her two-book series Rock and the River series and Robyn Hoodlum series. Her works also include short stories, middle-grade novels, and social-political, historical, and economy-related non-fictions. Kekla was born in Michigan and spent her childhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She is the biracial child of a Cameroonian father and white American mother. She spent a few years in Cameroon as a child. Before becoming a writer, Kekla was working for an NGO in New York City. Kekla graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in History with a concentration in Middle East and Africa. She later attended Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she graduated with an MFA in Writing. In 2015, Kekla taught writing in New York and also served as a judge for School Library Journal.

Kekla is a member of the NWP Writers Council and lives in Vermont, where she teaches writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

The Rock and the River

Once in a while a bit of young adult literature will come along and mention the Black Panthers, but it’s rare. The last time the group was mentioned was in American Dreaming by Laban Hill where the Panthers got a small chapter and novel moved on. It’s hard to figure out why the panthers are rarely mentioned because they were built for exciting literature. If they got fantastic literature why then ignore their fantastic history? The Rock and the River is a novel that tries to answer this question right from the first page. For any author to write about the Black Panthers, they need to have all the tools at their disposal. They need to be able to clearly show the depths on sides, the difficult choices, and complex ideology. In short, the writer needs to research more than you might find in your typical fictional fare. A little sweet, a little blood and a whole bucket of tears seem to have gone in Kekla’s book, and the result is a novel that never goes for the easy answers. This is the kind of story that challenges the readers to think. To mention, The Rock and the River received positive reviews from the Book List, The Library Journal as well as Coretta Scott King.

The book is set during the Civil Rights Movement, where the protagonists’ father is good friends with Martin Luther King Jr. and works as a speaker and civil rights leader, just like Martin Luther King. The lead characters are Sam and Stick. Stick is the elder brother who secretly joins the Black Panther movement until his brother Sam finds out after finding a handgun wrapped in one of his brother’s shirts.

One of the many issues in the novel that leads up to the trial at the end of the book had something to do with Bucky, who is a member of the Panthers. He was out making a delivery when the cops stopped him and beat him repeatedly for no reason. They then arrested him and charged him for two counts of assault and resisting arrest. This becomes a trial later in the book where Maxie and Sam have to testify for Bucky because they witnessed the whole ordeal. Sam was walking his friend that he likes home when it all happened. The novel then leads to Dr. Martin Luther King’s death when he’s shot. Things escalate pretty fast and resulting in a tug of war in the streets with fires, shorts, and broken glasses everywhere and home and businesses being destroyed. Stick is very outspoken, and he wants to do what’s right and informs his father that he needs to fight back, and he’s a member of the Panthers. His father is not happy about the news, but Stick leaves and joins the riots.

Usually, civil rights era books for young adults are simple to write. Racists are equivalent to bad people, and folks friendly to civil rights cause and black people are good. Once in a while, you’ll get a sympathetic child of the racists thrown in the mix for spice, but in the end you know what to expect. Good and evils are clearly outlined like white and black paint. Luckily Black Panthers put an entirely different taste on Kekla Magoon’s novel. What this novel does the best is place its narrative within the context of class. While the civil rights movement did well, there was a perception amongst the lower incomes people that they didn’t see a lot of change. The cops could invade their neighborhood and beat them for no reason. Kekla Magoon exposes us to the world Civil Rights movement and the daily routines of the blacks in the lower class.

Shadows of Sherwood

The night when her parents vanish, 12-year-old Robyn must learn to look after herself. A ruthless governor, Ignomus Crown, has overtaken her home in Nott City. After escaping for her life, Robyn is left with no other choice but to join a group of strangers- kids each with a unique skill for mischief.

Determined to make rights to the wrongs of the Crown’s heartless government, they take their special talents to the next level. But Robyn won’t rest until she finds the whereabouts of her parents. As she puts together all the clues from the night they vanished, Robyn soon learns that their fate is tied to the future of the Nott City in ways that she never expected. Kicking off Robyn Hoodlum series with a likable and unforgettable central character, the reader will be treated to feats of daring deeds, courage as Robyn and her friends find their way into this harsh new world.

It’s important to note that Kekla Magoon books have received starred reviews from different literary magazines. Her book, The Season of Styx Malone, Light It Up, and few others, has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly. All her books showcase how kids can make a big difference in the world.

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