Brenda's Reviews > The Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
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May 05, 12

Read in April, 2012

Words are not Marlee's thing. She doesn't like to talk to anyone beyond her family and few friends. Words are easy to confuse. They are unclear and imprecise. Numbers, on the other hand, are constant and steady. They are reliable and relaxing. Marlee will need their support if she is going to get through the next series of changes in her life. This will be the first year Marlee will be without her brother. He's off to college. The night before school is to start, Governer Faubus announced in an effort to preserve local control and southern traditions, the high schools of Little Rock will not open. Until the issue of integration is settled high school students will remain at home. That means that while Marlee is beginning middle school, her sister Judy is at home.
Marlee's dad support intergration of school. Marlee's mom is not so sure. As the tension rises, Marlee goes off to school having made the promise that she will say at least five words. She says them to a new girl, Liz. From then on Marlee's life is never the same. She learns about courage, committment and conviction. She learns that a wrong left unaddressed can lead to greater wrong. She also learns that it is never too late to right a wrong. It is always the right thing to do.

Marlee's stuggles to overcome her fears and to stand up for what is just, reveal the stories of others in her life. At first they are each alone as they deal with the uncertainty, tension and bitter conflicts that surround them. But later they learn by coming together they will be able ot accomplish something to establish social justice.

The Lions of Little Rock is something for everyone to read - to know what it is to be a friend, to know what it is to make a commitment to others, to know when others are more important than yourself. How do you overcome your fears? How do you step ip and take action? How do you know it IS up to you? This is a dazzling look at a piece of our past that we must continue to examine today. Is there ever a place for hatred?
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