Fire in the Rock

Written by Joe Martin
Review by Nan Curnutt

It is 1956 in this coming-of-age story, and Bo Fisher, a white preacher’s kid, begins an idyllic summer with his best friend Pollo, who is black. The girl in their life, Mae Maude, seems to their sixteen-year-old minds to be the essence of beauty. The three of them travel everywhere in Bo’s pickup truck. Pollo rides in back, of course — not because they want him to, but because no one would understand if they let him ride in front. They enjoy the adventures of adolescence together until an event takes place that changes the course of their friendship.

Fire in the Rock is a novel about racial prejudice. Sometimes classified as a young adult novel, it is just as appealing to adults. What makes this story outstanding is the love, humor and loyalty displayed by good friends and community members in hard times. This is shown in an offhand manner through the actions of the characters. This is a truly wonderful, basically lighthearted novel.