Take a stand!

ITA Theme Connection Project

Names of Group Members

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The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine transports the reader to Little Rock, AR during the tumultuous year of 1958. The high schools are empty because the Governor would rather close them than integrate African American students into the traditionally all-white schools. For 12-year old Marlee, this throws her world into chaos because both of her parents are teachers and her sister gets sent to live with her grandma so she can still go to school. Then, in an totally unexpected turn of events, her best friend Liz is caught "passing for white" and disappears from school. Marlee must decide between staying quiet or finding her voice and her courage.
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"The Lost Year" - Little Rock 9

On May 17, 1954, the US Supreme Court ruled that public schools must be desegregated to allow black students to attend alongside white students. In the fall of 1957, Governor Orval Faubus attempted to defy the order by sending the Arkansas National Guard to keep the first group of black students - known as the Little Rock 9 - from entering Little Rock Central High School. Eventually, President Eisenhower sent in Army troops to enforce the court order. The following school year, 1958, the Governor closed all of the Little Rock high schools to avoid desegregation. This year became known as “The Lost Year” as the local citizens, the school board, the Governor and the President all struggled in an environment of racial tension and escalating racial violence. The desegregated high schools reopened in the fall of 1959.


Source: "Integration of Central High School." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
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Stand up for what you know is right!

The theme that connects The Lions of Little Rock with “The Lost Year” is that it is important to stand up for what you know is right. In The Lions of Little Rock, Marlee had to stand up for Liz and for the desegregation of the schools. The Little Rock 9 also had to stand up for their right to a quality public education even though many people didn’t want them in the school.


Sources

"Integration of Central High School." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.


Book cover image: "The Lions of Little Rock Paperback – January 10, 2013." The Lions of Little Rock: Kristin Levine: 9780142424353: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.


Little Rock 9 image: "Summer 2014." Honoring the Little Rock Nine. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.


Speak out hands image: "Sapna Sees the World." Sapna Sees the World. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.