Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SR--The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Marlee is in middle school in 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, and like many girls--she has not found a best friend.  Until she meets Liz.  Liz is awesome and helps Marlee stand up for herself.  Marlee believes that this might not be so bad after all.  But, outside of this middle school, many other things are going on.  In 1957, there were 9 African American teens who attended Central High School in Little Rock, but the governor has refused to open the schools because he does not believe in integrating the schools.  Marlee's sister is sent to live with her grandmother so that she can attend school; Marlee's mother is getting paid to teach, but she has no students.  Many things are going on, but none of that matters because Marlee has a best friend.

Until one day, Liz does not show up for school.  There are many rumors, and Marlee is hurt when Liz refuses to see her.  What will Marlee do?  What should they both do?  No matter what they do--someone is going to be hurt.

This was a great historical fiction novel.  I did not know about the year after the Little Rock Nine.  It was appalling to me that they were able to do that for a year.  I had the chance to go to Little Rock this summer and see the high school and the zoo.  I even had my picture taken with the lions in the zoo--well, they were in a cage, but still...when Marlee talks about hearing the lions roar at night from her bedroom window, I now can tell you that is possible.  They were very loud!

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