Guest Blog: Friendship At The Heart Of The Lions Of Little Rock

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Note from Elena Reads: You met Danaih Chapman, an 18-year-old high school senior, earlier this week in my first “Book Lovers” interview. Today, she is my guest blogger and reviewing one of her favorite books. She wants to be a teacher, so I am sure she also will share this book with her students someday. Here is her review: 

I have never read a better coming-of age-story than The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine. I remember reading this story from cover to cover, I couldn’t put it down until it was done.

There were many important lessons I learned from this great book, however the most important lesson to me was that friendship is not just about skin color. It is about who you are on the inside.

This story is set in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958 during a time when black and white people were separated in schools based on the color of their skin. Twelve-year-old Marlee, a quiet little white girl just starting middle school feels like her world is falling apart until she meets Liz, the new student. They become fast friends until Liz gets caught “passing” for white and doesn’t come back to school. Marlee really wants to have her friend back. But they must take on the dangers of segregation to be stay friends.

I’ve only heard about segregation and passing for a different race in short sections of my school history books, so to see a book like The Lions of Little Rock exposing us to that part of history makes me happy.

Even though this story is set in a negative time period, the author made a point to show the true value of friendship. Marlee and Liz go through the unthinkable, and not even the danger of segregation could end their friendship.

The Lions of Little Rock is a heartwarming, and inspirational story about two different little girls overcoming the odds and keeping a friendship, despite the turbulent times they were living in. I am not going to say anymore about this book, you have to read the rest. But I recommend this book to older children (middle school and above) because some of the language might not be appropriate for ages 12 and under.  

This book deserves 4 out of 4 roses!


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