Thursday, January 30, 2014

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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