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The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

The Lions of Little Rock (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Kristin Levine

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Integration in Little Rock in 1958 from the perspective of a middle school student .
There is a lot to this book. Different takes on the main theme. A friend of the main character who tries to 'pass'.
The effect of the school boycott on families. Intolerance, fear and hatred of changing by those who cling to their beliefs. Very well done, a great middle school read and upper elementary. Definitely a history lesson and discussion starter for an American history class.
SSYRA 2014 ( )
  librarian1204 | Jun 18, 2014 |
Beautifully written book about a girl named Marlee. She meets a new girl at her school, and they become fast friends. Her new friend, Liz, though has been going to school and passing herself off as a white person. When the town finds out, Marless is shunned because she has a black friend. Lots of racial tension and historical accurateness regarding the integration of schools in the South in the early 60s. ( )
  skm88 | Jun 8, 2014 |
This is a story of a friendship during a time when segregation was still present, and racism was very common. Marlee was a shy, quiet girl until she met Liz, who turned out to be colored. Marlee didn't talk to very many people, because she was afraid they wouldn't like what she had to say. She recites prime numbers to calm herself. Marlee didn't understand why it was wrong to be friends with her, because the color of Liz's skin didn't matter to her. They remained friends, but they had to keep their friendship a secret. Liz taught Marlee how to speak what she was thinking, and Marlee taught Liz to control her anger. Throughout the book, their friendship was tested as the fight for integration in the schools began. Hatred and racism reared its ugly head, and put the girls in danger numerous times. They were forbidden to see each other, but they knew that they would always be friends deep down.
  sbasler | Mar 11, 2014 |
In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism. ( )
  paula-childrenslib | Nov 13, 2013 |
A quick, enjoyable read about friendship, family, and integration of schools in Little Rock in 1958-1959. Marlee is a reserved, shy girl who doesn't speak much. When she meets Liz, she takes a chance on friendship. Marlee's sister is sent off to stay with her grandma after the high schools are closed in Little Rock as a way to avoid school integration. When Liz stops going to school one day and it is found that she was "passing", Marlee is torn about keeping her friendship or following the rules. Her friendship with Liz makes her deeply question what is happening with integration, race relations, and her own beliefs. Marlee works to find her voice and take action in what she believes which sometimes gets her in hot water and puts her in dangerous situations. A glimpse into history, the individual story of Marlee and Liz gives the issue of integration a personal context in this middle grades story. ( )
  ewyatt | Aug 18, 2013 |
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To my mother, for telling me about the lions
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I talk a lot. Just not out loud where anyone can hear.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039925644X, Hardcover)

Two girls separated by race form an unbreakable bond during the tumultuous integration of Little Rock schools in 1958

Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn't have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear - speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family.

But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn't matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:28 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism.

(summary from another edition)

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