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!
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