by Kristin Levine
It's the beginning of the school year in 1958 in Little Rock, and Marlee is not excited about it. She's not much of a talker you see, and this year she starts middle school, with teachers she's never met before, who probably will want her to talk. But on her first day of school she meets Liz, a new student who becomes her best friend. But when it's revealed that Liz is actually African American, both girls have to learn to stand up on their own and force those around them to realize that perhaps race shouldn't be a reason to dislike a person.
Lions of Little Rock is a book about great courage. Both girls demonstrate remarkable maturity throughout the book, even when those around them tell them they are in the wrong for being friends. The book is set during the height of the civil rights movement, the year after the Little Rock 9 had been allowed to attend a 'whites only' school. The book explains the hatred and fear that spread through the communities regardless of their views, and the worry that those who opposed segregation felt even as they worked to ban it. The book is a great read for tweens.
Age Level-5th-6th Grade
Genre: Historical Fiction