Lions of Little Rock

written by Kristin Levine

Ages: 9-12 years (approximately grades 4-8)

Meet Marlee.  She’s a
timid, twelve-year-old girl who hasn’t quite come out of her shell.  In
fact, she doesn’t talk much at all.  If she says one word at school all
day, her family considers that an accomplishment.  Social situations are
extremely difficult to get through.  So to Marlee, the idea of starting
Junior High is scary and overwhelming.  Luckily for her, she finds a
friend in Liz, the new girl at her middle school.  Liz is Marlee’s polar
opposite—confident, well-spoken, witty, and fun to be around.  Thanks to
Liz, middle school quickly becomes more bearable.  Even fun.  Then
one morning, Liz doesn’t show up for school.  Days go by and Marlee’s new
friend doesn’t return.  When Liz is found out to be different from the
other white students at her schools, she is pressured to leave.  Marlee
eventually finds out that Liz has left school for good…and without even saying
goodbye.

This piece of historical fiction
is set in Little Rock, Arkansas during a time in U.S. history when racial
tensions were high and the color of your skin determined where children
attended school.   Lions of
Little Rock
, one of this year’s Rebecca Caudill Nominees,
is a great discussion book for both boys and girls.  While it is set in a
different time period, this is a story of friendship, family, fear, and courage
that is relatable and timeless.  This book requires a basic understanding
of the historical context.  Even so, young readers who are comfortable
reading contemporary stories of realistic fiction will easily find themselves
learning to care and root for the friendship these characters share

Children’s
program alert! The Caudill Club is a new library program for kids in Grades 4
to 6.   Tell us what you think of the book, and we’ll provide kids
with pizza!  On Monday, February 10 at 6 pm, we will discuss the book, Lions
of Little Rock
by Kristin Levine.  Stop by the library to register and
pick up a copy of the book.  Take a look at the library’s program calendar
for more information.

Find The Lions of Little Rock in our catalog.

 
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