Kristen Levine has composed two books so far on the same topic, black people and white people. I read both, and loved them!!
These are just some typical comparisons. Nothing detailed as you see. The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had was written before The Lions of Little Rock. They are both smoothly written and wonderful books!
The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had is a fictional story about a boy named Dit (who tells the story) who expects the new mailman’s white boy to come for the next year. At least that’s what he’s told. The new mailman’s child turns out to be a black girl named Emma! Emma is neat and loves to read while Dit is messy and doesn’t care much for grammar or reading. The two twelve-year-old kids don’t get along at first, but then they become best friends who can do anything! And that comes in handy when Big Foot, the town’s lawman, gets a little stirred up since a white boy is friends with a black girl. A big incident happens (read the book to find out what it is!) and it’s up to Dit and Emma to fix it.
The Lions of Little Rock takes place in 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, 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. Rumors are, 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.
-Danielle L., 6th grade