The Lions Of Little Rock

By Kristin Levine POster by Chloe Simonte

Book Summary

I read The Lions Of Little Rock for my historical fiction book project. The author is Kristin Levine. It takes place in Little Rock, Arkansas 1958. The characters in this book are, Marlee, who starts off very quiet but eventually finds her voice. Liz, Marlee’s best friend who is colored. Judy, Marlee’s older sister who helps her more than her parents, Marlee really feels like she can talk to Judy. Sally, the mean girl at school. J.T. A boy in Marlee’s class who isn't nice to her and makes her do his homework. Red, J.T.’s older brother who doesn’t like colored people. Marlee’s Mother and father. David, Marlee’s older brother who just left for college. Betty-Jean Marlee’s families housekeeper who is colored and Curtis, Betty-Jean’s son.

The conflict that Marlee’s new friends Liz turns out to be colored. Liz’s skin is very light (for a colored person) so Liz decides to pass as a white person and go to the white school for a better education. There she meets Marlee and they instantly become friends. But one day when Liz was going to the black church someone from her white school saw her there and knew that she was colored. Liz was kicked out of the school. The conflict was character vs. society because Marlee wanted Liz to be allowed to go to school with her but she is colored and is not allowed to. Marlee doesn’t care that Liz is colored she just wanted a new friend. So she is vs. the whole society.

The climax of the story is when Red (J.T.’s older brother) finds dynamite and decides to keep it in the back of his car. Marlee knew what he was planning on doing with it so she decides to sneak in the back of Red’s car and get it out. the problem is that Red comes in the car and drives away without knowing Marlee was i it. She still manages to get the dynamite out but accidently leaves 2 sticks. The resolution is when Red gets sent to military school.

It's Better to be Brave than Shy

Bravery is displayed at the hardest moments. In the book “The Lions Of Little Rock” by Kristin Levine one of the main characters is Liz. She is very brave when she decided to try to sneak into the white school and pass for a white, even though she is colored. Marlee and Liz are working on a project together. Marlee finally has a good friend who she feels very close too. Liz shows how courageous she is when she goes to school with the white kids instead of the colored kids.”She lied to Marlee and everyone else at school.” This proves Liz is brave because someone could have figured out that she was lying. Liz could have been very hurt, or in serious trouble. She risked everything to get good schooling but an even better new friend.

Turning point 1

The first major turning point of the story is when Marlee and Liz become friends. This first starts when they eat lunch together on the first day of school. This is a turning point because if they didn’t become friends then Marlee still would not speak, and the entire story would have not happened because Liz is the reason Marlee decided to come out of her shell and that is what cause Marlee to become more talkative at school, in town and everywhere. Marlee even decided to join an organization called WEC for getting the schools reopened. The mayor of the town decided to lose the schools, he would rather that than have black people go to the schools.

Turning point 2

Another turning point is when Judy goes to Pline Bluff to go to school and live with their grandmother. This is a turning point because now Judy cannot take care of Marlee, she has to learn to take care of herself. Judy has always been like a second mother to Marlee because she took amazing care of her and loved her.Judy has to go live in Pline Bluff since the schools are closed so that she could go to school there. But for Marlee, this is extremely upsetting news since Marlee never really had as an amazing bond she had with her sister with the mother or father.

Turning point 3

My last turning point is when Marlee climbs into Red’s car. This is a turning point because she is brave and is no longer scared of doing things like this. Marlee used to be afraid of speaking! Never in a million years would she think about sneaking into the back of a car! That is until she met Liz. Liz completely changed Marlee’s personality Marlee decided to speak to people once she met Liz and not even her beloved sister Judy could ever do that.

Quote #1

Page number: 7


“I can’t believe the governor would rather close the schools than have you go with a couple of Negros.” This reflects the time period the story takes place in because now a days people all across the united states go to school together. No matter what you look like or where you are from. Back then whites thought blacks didn’t deserve to go to school with them because they were just not good enough.

Quote #2

Page number 190


“A colored girl and a white girl can’t be friends.” says JT. “Says who?” I asked. “Says everyone!” These quotes show the time period in which the story takes place because now lots of black people and white people are friends some can even get married! Now a days it doesn’t matter if your “white”or “black” you can still be friends with anyone.

Quote #3

Page number 106


“I’d invite you to come with us but we are going to the Gem, the Negro movie theater.” This quote shows the time period because now, we don't even have “Negro movie theaters” we have movie theaters for everybody. Back then they had special movie theaters, restaurants, water fountains and bathrooms.