Book Review: The Lions of Little Rock by Kristen Levine

LionsThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine is a phenomenal book. It takes place in Little Rock, Arkansas during 1958, focusing on fictional characters named Marlee (who tells the story) and Liz.

Although physically able, Marlee chooses to be a “mute” because she’s afraid she’ll say something stupid. On the first day of middle school, a new girl named Liz shows up. Liz and Marlee quickly become friends. Then one day, Liz suddenly leaves school. According to rumors, she was “passing” as a white student.

Marlee and Liz manage to stay friends through thick and thin, through black and white. Lots of things in this book are things we can relate to such as mean people, crushes, bullies, and personal fears. There are also things we can’t relate to because we’re in 2013 while they’re in 1958. But it all ties together in a remarkable and unexpected friendship between Liz and Marlee.

With plot twists and nerve-wracking scenes, Kristin Levine’s work is an easy story to picture in my mind. I saw this book at a book fair, and was unsure of it because of the title. But it’s an amazing book! If I had to rate it on a scale from 1 -10, I’d definitely say a 10. There’s only one problem with this book: there’s no sequel (yet I hope)! Even though this is a new book (published in 2012), I really want to read a sequel! Kristin Levine did write a previous novel, The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had, which I now want to read.

My favorite part of the book is probably the end. I don’t want to give away too much, but it’s a heart warming, teary-eyed scene that made me want more.

I recommend this book for girls or boys ages 11 and up who aren’t into history. It opens your eyes in a way you and I can relate. This book made me realize how hard and dangerous it was for African Americans during the mid-20th century. It also made me thankful for the peace we have today. I recommend this book for adults too. I read The Lions of Little Rock with my mom and she teared up. I’m not an emotional person, but if I was, I would’ve too.

Bottom line, I really recommend this book for anyone that loves reading!

-Danielle L., 6th grade

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