The Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock

eBook - 2012
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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.
Publisher: [S.l.] : Penguin Group US, 2012.
ISBN: 9781101550441
Characteristics: 1 online resource.
1 online resource (304 p.)

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From the critics

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Mar 13, 2020

Friendship makes us better.
Why can’t the change I want to see happen start with me?
Everyone is more than what they appear to be at first glance.
I want all my adult friends to read this excellent book so we can talk about it.

IndyPL_CarrieS Apr 03, 2019

My family recently listened to the audio version of this book (very well read BTW) on our way to visit Little Rock, AR on vacation. This story was great and captured the attention of everyone in the car - grade-schoolers through adult! I picked it out thinking it was going to be about the Little Rock Nine, but what we got was a nuanced story set in the year following that initial push for integration. Lions of Little Rock is a story of friendship, sibling love, and understanding where your parents are coming from - all universal themes aside from this explosive moment in history. The bigger political themes were handled well, with enough attention to detail to make the story feel real but not too much focus on that so the human thread of the story never got lost. The ONLY draw back is that it is told from the perspective of Marlee and not from Liz's point of view.

Dec 20, 2018

The book follows the story of Marlee, a 12 year old girl as she grows up in the 1950's and turmoil around racism boils around her. Marlee is shy and doesn't have a good friend, but this is all changed when she meets Liz. Liz is everything Marlee wants to be: Liz is confident, kind, and can stand up for herself. Soon the girls become close friends and even though Liz turns out to be African American, they remain friends and start to overcome the boundaries of racism, despite a lot of danger.

Jul 21, 2018

Lions of Little Rock is an amazing book that is about two girls: Marlee who is “white” and Elizabeth (Liz) who is African American. The two form a strong relationship with each other by Liz passing for a “white” in a “white” school, and befriending Marlee. But one day, a girl named Sally breaks the news that Liz is African American, and won’t be coming back to the “white” school. Marlee is heartbroken, but she still risks her life and Liz’s to sometimes meet each other at the zoo. Of course, somebody finds out and sets their heart on killing Liz and her family. As a result, Marlee’s dad and Liz’s mom ban their children from ever seeing or interacting with each other again. Or so they thought...

Anyone who reads this book will sometimes laugh, sometimes cry, or sometimes just feel angry. Anyone who reads this book will also see that people can change. And anyone that reads this book will see how many people suffered because of segregation, and people will see that friendships can be strong, even when it is hard. This book shows that bad things and bad people are real, and this book shows that some people will go out of their way to kill you. Literally.

Stars: 11 out of 10. ;)


Feb 03, 2017

I was assigned this book for school and I thought it was just a boring civil rights book, but after I read it twice I'd give it 5 stars. Really good book. Pretty much what read_freak said

Jul 10, 2016

When I first picked up this book I thought it was going to be about love and other stuff...but as soon as I finished the book I picked it up again and read it over again,and again. This deserves a 10 star rate!

I love this book,U got to read it. I couldn't stop myself from reading so I end up reading while I eat do homework and brush my that u should know how addicting this book is !!!!!


I personally think that this is a 5 star rate. I ended up getting a grain of rice on at dinner. It can't pull you away.

lakevilla_IDOL Oct 01, 2013

This book is awesome! It is mostly about a girl named Marlee who at first was the shy girl at school who barely talked but now she talks frequently like you and me. This story takes place in the 1900 when segregation took place. Marlee had a friend who turned out to be a African American, and Marlee wasn"t allowed to talk to her after everybody at school found out. But the problem is, Marlee didn't have anybody to talk to after Marlee's sister Judy moves in with her grandma.But everything turns out alright at the end.

AlgonquinYouthServices Apr 15, 2013

This is a wonderful story of friendship, set against the backdrop of 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas. Many people know the history of the Little Rock Nine; the trailblazing African American students who were the first students to integrate the Little Rock high schools. But the story didn’t end there. This book looks at what happened after the National Guard left Little Rock. The high schools were closed that year, so that the schools couldn’t follow the federal orders to integrate. No high schools = no integration. Shy, twelve-year-old Marlee (who can, but doesn’t speak) watches how the unfolding events of that year affect her family: her teacher parents, her teenage sister, and college-aged brother. That year, Marlee develops a special friendship with new girl Liz, who brings her out of her shell. Liz is brave and sassy, where Marlee is quiet and reserved. Both girls are very smart and opinionated, and they develop an instant bond and deep friendship. One day Liz doesn’t show up for school, and the students (including Marlee) learn a startling fact about her. Liz has been “passing” for white, but is actually a very light skinned African American. The schools are still segregated, which means it is illegal for Liz to be attending Marlee’s school. This book looks at the civil rights movement from an unusual perspective: that of a twelve-year-old white girl. Her family, her neighbors, and her entire community take sides in the battle for civil rights and school integration. Some people even become violent. Marlee watches what is happening and develops a strong sense of self and of what she believes is right and wrong. Kristin Levine is one of my very favorite authors for young people. She writes about race relations from young people’s points of view. This is an outstanding and compelling story of an overlooked segment of American history Alexa Newman, Youth Services Librarian


Add Age Suitability
yellow_duck_216 Jun 08, 2015

yellow_duck_216 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

sparklecherryblossom thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 15

Jul 15, 2014

maroon_llama_27 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

May 08, 2014

tori_king thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


FRENCHCOOKIESYUM thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

white_jay_16 Jan 02, 2014

white_jay_16 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

blue_dolphin_11428 Jul 30, 2013

blue_dolphin_11428 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

green_cobra_410 Jul 01, 2013

green_cobra_410 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 17

green_cobra_187 Jun 28, 2013

green_cobra_187 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 17

May 29, 2013

red_gazelle_10 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 18


Add a Summary
olive_bird_01 Jun 13, 2015

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.

Never to old to read this book!!!!!!
okay so.... the summary..... : shows how important friend ship is and also race is a bad thing (not rice,rice is very healthy)

Jun 12, 2013

Excellent book about encouraging friendships and saying something positive to a bully. Historical fiction about 1958 in Little Rock. Great Young Adult book about a colored girl who passes as a white girl to receive a better education and how she encourages a shy girl to stand up for what she believes in.


Add Notices
Dec 20, 2018

Coarse Language: Some swearing, but not too bad.

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Includes descriptions of burnings, bombings, etc.

Violence: This is set during the times of the KKK and such so there are some descriptive phrases about hangings, murders, etc.


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Jul 10, 2016

"To understand me and how I've changed i need to go back to 1958"

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