Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Where are the Lions Lurking?

It's only a year after Little Rock became an integrated school, and now the folks in Marlee’s town are putting up a fight to stay segregated. Marlee’s a bundle of nerves before school starts and she has to begin at the junior high. Although she has always been a wiz at math, she suffers from an extreme fear of public speaking and doesn’t talk in public, so no talking in class. Surprisingly, she hits it off with a new girl, Liz, and even starts chatting with her. Marlee can’t believe her luck to have a friend who is just like her in so many ways, but different in ways she admires. In her dreams she's as brave as Liz, and their friendship helps Marlee to shed some of her fears. Marlee’s world is turned upside down when Liz stops coming to school and the rumors swirl that she was light skinned and passing for white to attend their school. At first Marlee can’t believe it, but then she realizes she doesn’t care if Liz is black or white. All she really wants is her friend back, and she's willing to take whatever risks she needs to in order for that to happen. They meet at the zoo near the lions since it's public and they could easily be there at the same time. This allows them to continue their friendship without anyone knowing. What Marlee doesn’t realize is how dangerous their friendship could be, not just for themselves, but for their families. Is it worth the risk for the girls to continue their friendship? What will happen if they're found out by those in the town who support the KKK and segregation? What will Marlee learn about friendship and treating people fairly? You must read this book to find out how everything turns out and if their friendship lasts!


The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine is a remarkable book about a fantastic girl who is braver than she knows. I loved watching Marlee stand up for what she believes in, and she definitely tried to make the world a better place. It's an excellent book for people of all ages, and I think kids in fourth grade and up will especially relate to Marlee and Liz. The book makes history come alive, and it made me want to clap and cheer for all of the people who have broken and continue to break races barriers and help people see that we are all humans. I found myself nervous about some of the situations Marlee found herself in, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters when I finished the book. I was totally engrossed in this one because the characters are easy to relate to, and I felt like I knew them. I really like Marlee and think she has many qualities that make me want to be friends with her. Without a doubt, this is a story that will make you want to go out and change the world, and it will definitely make people want to be kinder! If you have not read it, I highly recommend it. This story will remind you how far we've come and how each step forward is a step in the right direction.

Has anyone else read The Lions of Little Rock? Or have you read another book by Kristin Levine? We would love to hear your thoughts!


Happy reading!
~L


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40 comments:

  1. Haven't read this or heard of it. But it sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing it!

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    1. Natalie- It is an excellent read! I hope you get to read it soon. :) ~L

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  2. I loved this book when I read it and am so glad that the 1950s and 1960s are showing up more and more in novel for kids. I think The Lions of LIttle Rock brings out just was a pivotal time in America these years were. Marlee is such an inspiring character for kids.

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    1. Alex- I agree! Marlee is a great character and I loved how she tried to make the world a better place. A very inspirational book. :) ~L

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  3. This sounds like a great read for kids because a story likes this makes them realise real people and friendships were involved. Great review!

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    1. Nick- So true! The characters help kids relate to the time period. Thanks for visiting! :) ~L

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  4. This sounds like a wonderful tale of friendship with a great message to boot, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Tracy- It is an all around excellent read! :) ~L

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  5. I wish I had read books by her. This one sounds good!

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    1. Patty- It is so good. If you get a chance to read it- you will love it. :) ~L

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  6. Thanks for this review. I hadn't heard of this book or this author. I will definitely check this out.

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    1. Rosi- So glad to introduce you to this wonderful book. Enjoy! :) ~L

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  7. I've never heard of this book, but it sounds like a good read. Appreciate the info and your thoughts. Might have to check this out. :) Have a good rest of the week!

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    1. Karen- It is a well-written story and the characters really come to life. I hope you get to read it! Have a wonderful day. :) ~L

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  8. I love kids stories like this one. What a little gem.

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    1. MPax- Me too! Such a great book! :) :) ~L

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  9. Haven't read this one, but it sounds amazing.

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    1. Crystal- It is! Such a great way to bring history to life. :) ~L

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  10. I wish the need for books that champion minorites and show the prejudice against them were no longer needed. Sadly, we still have to fight like Marlee because things aren't changing fast enough in some places. Wishing Kristin much success!

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    1. Lexa- I agree! It is wonderful that there are books to help show people that everyone should be treated fairly and that skin color (along with other differences) doesn't matter. We are all humans! :) ~L

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  11. I haven't read this but it sounds great.

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  12. After reading this article, this seems like a must read. Kristin Levine's book is a most emotive read and timely.

    Thank you for this and I wish Kristin much fulfilment.

    Gary

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    1. Gary- It is a book that will make you cheer for the characters. Very well written. :) ~L

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    1. Erik- It is! I know you will love it. :) ~L

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  14. Sounds like a wonderfully positive message - and so important!

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    1. Cate- The message is loud and clear and so important. Awesome book! :) ~L

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  15. This sounds like a fabulous read! Such an important subject :)

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    1. So true, Meradeth. I am so glad I read this one. :) ~L

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  16. I've read this post, and all of the comments, and my mind is swirling with thoughts that I'd have to corral before formulating a genuine response. The main thing I'm wondering about is the execution. It sounds like L (Lizzy? Sorry, I only know Jess!) thought the tense premise was quite well-handled and age appropriate. I'm certain this required a fair amount of research and to have climbed the ranks all the way to Penguin, it probably is an excellent text.

    Thank you for the summary and review.

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    1. Suze- Thanks for your thoughtful comment! I can only imagine how much research had to be done in order to write this book. We are lucky that we will be finding out more about Kristin's research process, as we are interviewing her here in August! Yeah! :)

      The story really draws you in and brings the time period to life. I know I was biting my nails at parts because I know that anything could happen. So glad we are making progress every day. :) :) ~L

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  17. I've heard about this book but haven't yet read it. I'll be sure to add it to my TBR list; you make it sound compelling.

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    1. Joanne- It is a book that you will think about after you finish reading it. Such a great book! :) ~L

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  18. I haven't but now I want to. Stories about ovecoming barriers and not letting go of friendship are precious.

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    1. Claudine- I know you will love the characters in this one! Happy reading! :) ~L

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  19. I read the lions of little rock some time ago, but it’s one of those books that gets under your skin and stays there. I usually read a book and then pass it on to a friend, but this one went into my must keep and must read again pile.

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    1. Barbara- I love the way you worded it! It is definitely a book that crawled under my skin and stayed there. A book that earns a spot on the bookshelf for sure. Thanks for visiting! :) ~L

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  20. I think I would be edge all the time when reading The Lions of Little Rock! So much of what these friends had to go through is probably what happened in real life which frustrates me to no end. I love that Marlee discovers she is braver than she gives herself credit for. Love the message of this book! Great review (:

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    1. Adriana- I agree with you! It is a great book and it was so hard to think about people being so cruel simply because someone had a different skin color. I know we still have a ways to go, but thank goodness we have come a long way! This book has a wonderful message. :) ~L

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