It's 1957 in Arkansas and twelve-year-old Marlee is starting her school year. Marlee is smart, but you would never know it due to her extreme shyness and the fact that she never talks. But Marlee is determined to try things differently this year, and when she meets a new girl named Liz in class, they become fast friends. But when Liz is caught "passing" for white, she leaves withdraws from school immediately. But Marlee still wants to be friends. In order to continue their friendship, Marlee and Liz must take on segregation and the danger that their friendship brings to both them and their families.
"Satisfying, gratifying, touching, weightythis authentic piece of work has got soul."The New York Times Book Review
As twelve-year-old Marlee starts middle school in 1958 Little Rock, it feels like her whole world is falling apart. Until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is everything Marlee wishes she could be: she's brave, brash and always knows the right thing to say. But when Liz leaves school without even a good-bye, the rumor is that Liz was caught passing for white. Marlee decides that doesn't matter. She just wants her friend back. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are even willing to take on segregation and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
Winner of the New-York Historical Society Childrens History Book Prize
A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice
Kristin Levine (www.kristinlevine.com) received her BA in German from Swarthmore College and an MFA in film from American University. She spent a year in Vienna, Austria, working as an au pair, and has taught screenwriting at American University. Currently, she lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her two daughters. She is the author of the critically acclaimed The Best Luck I Ever Had, The Lions of Little Rock, and The Paper Cowboy. Follow her on Twitter @KristinSLevine.
"Creating a book that reads as though written in one effortless breath requires a rare talent . . Readers will root for a painfully shy girl to discover the depths of her own courage and find hope in the notion that even in tumultuous times, standing up for the people you love cant be wrong. Satisfying, gratifying, touching, weightythis authentic piece of work has got soul."The New York Times Book Review
"Kristin Levines The Lions of Little Rock, the story of a black girl and a white girl who become friends during the integration of that citys schools in 1958, has been awarded the New-York Historical Societys first childrens history book prize."New-York Historical Society Childrens History Book Prize Award
"A story of friendship between two girls in the civil-rights-era South."The New York Times Book Review Editors Choice Award
"The remarkable story of the Little Rock Nine is familiar to many, but what happened next? In this quietly powerful page-turner, Levine focuses her attention on the events that unfolded in Little Rock the year after the integration of the citys public schools."Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"With remarkable depth and clarity, Levine unflinchingly portrays racial tension in the 1950s Deep South. Reader will be moved by Marlee and Lizs strong bonds and inspired by Marlees unwavering tenacity in the face of what seems like insurmountable adversity."School Library Journal, starred review
* "Successfully weaving historical events with a dynamic personal narrative, Levine (The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had) offers a riveting, frequently tense portrait of 1958 Little Rock, Ark., the tumultuous year when the governor refused integration by closing local high schools."Publishers Weekly, starred review