Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Lions of Little Rock

Levine, Kristin. The Lions of Little Rock.Marlee is a bit shy, but exciting about starting a new year of junior high. Things are tense in Little Rock in the fall of 1958, and her older sister Judy is not starting high school because of the problems with school integration. Marlee’s father is a teacher in the district, and he thinks that Negroes should be allowed in the school; Marlee’s mother is less sure, and as time goes on, takes a job teaching in a new private school being set up to circumvent the integration law. Marlee is excited to make a good, new friend, Liz. They get along famously, working on a school project, but one day the teacher tells Marlee that Liz is ill and won’t be back. The obnoxious Sally tells Marlee that this is not the case; Liz is actually black and was caught trying to pass as white. Marlee confirms this with Betty Jean, the family’s new maid and the wife of the pastor of Liz’s church. Marlee is warned that trying to remain friends with Liz could put them both in peril, but she doesn’t listen. The two try to remain friends even as events in Little Rock escalate.
Strengths: This does a good job at portraying many different perspectives of this event-- Marlee’s brother is in college and thinking of working with the Civil Rights movement, but neighbors and friends are in the KKK. We have Liz, Betty Jean, and other black characters who come at the events from different view points, giving this a well-rounded feel.
Weaknesses: My very first book review was for Rodman’s Yankee Girl (2004), and I’m still wondering why so many Civil Rights books are from the point of view of white, middle class girls!

It's a low key celebration here. Little did I know back in 2006 how much time I would spend on reading and blogging! Definitely would have come up with a better blog name, but at least now I have a cool blog design.

Hopefully, I can continue reading and blogging far into the future!


  1. Happy Blogiversary, Karen. Yes, you do have a very cool blog design, but I know how you feel about a better blog name - I have often thought that about my blog name, too.

  2. Anonymous9:26 AM EST

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  3. Yes, indeed! We hope you keep right on blogging for another six years!

  4. While I liked Lions of Little Rock quite a bit, I can see your point about Civil Rights books being from a white, middle class point of view. And it's a bit sad.

    Happy blogiversary!

  5. Happy blog birthday! I love your sweet sharp posts lots!

    (I like your blog name too. And yours too, Alex).

  6. 6 years! Well Done, Ms.Yingling. And many happy returns.

  7. Wow I think I started by blogger blog in March of 06. Happy Blogiversity to you!

    I thought the same thing about Lions of Little Rock. I liked the story and it's very well written. By I am sad that there are so many books written from the white girls' point of view. the real action in this book was for Liz and her voice is kept silent. :(