Two Girls Against The World

Margaret Williams

Goodbye Liz

Will Marlee choose death and friendship or say goodbye to Liz forever? The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine takes place in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958-1959 during the time of segregation. Marlee is attending West Side Junior High when she meets Liz. Marlee feels comfortable around Liz and isn’t too shy to speak to her. When JT has Marlee doing his math homework for him will Marlee end up getting in trouble?

Marlee finds out that Liz is black and has been passing as a white. Marlee doesn’t want to believe it but she knows it’s true. Liz and Marlee have been paired together for a presentation and Liz talks Marlee into giving half of the presentation. When the day of the presentation finally arrives Liz doesn’t show up for school. Marlee has worked hard for this presentation. She will not give up now. She ends up giving the whole presentation using the magic black feather that Liz gave her.

In 1958 they closed the high schools because they didn’t want to integrate them. The WEC isn’t for integration or segregation but for education and Marlee joins against her mother’s will. She doesn’t tell her mom but attends all of the meetings. JT and his older brother Red find out that Liz and Marlee meet every Tuesday in the Rock Crusher and they follow them there. Red is so upset that when Marlee and Liz are at Marlee’s maid, Betty Jean’s house Red throws a stick of dynamite through the window. This makes Marlee realize that it’s not safe and she needs to say goodbye to Liz. Later Marlee ends up meeting Liz in the zoo. The schools have been integrated even though there are just five blacks attending. The town of Little Rock, Arkansas still had a long way to go, but at least it was a start.

"You Have To Believe Me!"

The first drawing is of Liz and her little brother holding hands outside the colored church. Sally was dropping off her maid when she saw Liz and her brother holding hands. She yelled Liz’s name from the car. This is the reason that Liz was kicked out of school.

The second drawing of when Marlee’s teacher pulls her out into the hallway to tell her that Liz will not be returning to West Side Junior High. Marlee can’t believe it, Judy and now Liz. All her best friends are being taken away. Marlee ends up giving their whole presentation by herself.

In the third drawing you see Betty Jean’s house and Red’s Gray Chrysler Windsor. This is a picture of Red throwing dynamite at the house. Luckily no one was hurt, this shows that Red was not happy about Liz and Marlee being friends.

Segregation, A Time No One Wants to Remember

1. In 1958 they closed the high schools to prevent integration. They called this year the “Lost Year” and many children were sent away to stay with family and friends and attend the local school. This quote from page 293 shows how this problem was unavoidable.
“This changed in 1958. The conflict could not be so easily brushed aside when they saw their older brothers and sisters sitting at home or being sent away to attend school. Perhaps it wasn’t as dramatic as soldiers at a high school, but on an everyday basis, more people were affected.”

2. In 1958 many people started groups or clubs to integrate or segregate the schools.The WEC is a group started not for integration or segregation but for education. Another group is the STOP. the STOP wants to keep the schools segregated. This quote below from page 100-101 is the leader of the WEC trying to convince Marlee’s mother to join so Judy, Marlee’s sister can return home.

“Some woman and I have started a little group. A committee actually, and we were wondering if we could convince you to join.”
Mothers smile brightened. “I’m always happy to do some volunteer work. And with things the way the are, lets just say I have plenty of time on my hands.”
“Funny you mention schools,’ said Miss Winthrop.
“Thats what our groups about. We're calling it the Women’s Emergency Committee to open our school.”

3. In Little Rock, Arkansas nine African American students attended the public high school in 1957. These 9 students were called the Little Rock nine. Each day these students were teased, bullied, and harassed. Eventually it got so Extreme that the 101st Airborne Division was called in to try and make peace with the school.

4. On August 12th, 1959 the high schools re-opened and when Marlee was on the way home from dropping Judy at school the road was blocked. Marlee and her dad got out of the car to see what was going on. This quote from page 285 shows what Marlee saw when she got out of the car.
“There where more than 200 people on the street, some in cars some on foot. In the front walked a man holding a Confederate flag. Other held signs reading Arkansas is for faubus and race mixing is communism.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“They’re protesting,” said Daddy in a monotone.
“We are marching to Central” a man called out. “Stopped them last year. We will again.”
“No,” daddy muttered. “Not again.”

This show that this time the police really do want to make Little Rock a better place and spraying people with firehouses is what they had to do to keep the schools safe.

"Don't Do It, Marlee"

Marlee is a very stubborn character. Marlee played a pivotal role in this book. She was the main character who became good friends with Liz. I felt like I really got to know her. When she was mad I felt her anger, when she was scared I felt scared. Her dad tells her that she is not allowed to see Liz again. Marlee doesn’t listen to her dad and every Tuesday Marlee and Liz meet in the Rock Crusher. This quote from page 73 shows Marlee not listening to her dad when all he is trying to do is protect her.

“Daddy?” I asked


“Can you find her for me? Maybe get her phone number?”

Daddy shook his head “Marlee you need to leave that girl alone.”

“But she’s my best friend.”

“She was your friend. Now, she’s someone else.”

No she wasn’t. Liz was funny and outspoken and clever, and I didn’t I didn’t see how all that had changed, just because people are calling her colored.

“Marlee, you can’t still be friends with Liz..”

“Why not?”

“Segregationists don’t take kindly to Negroes who try to pass as white. Liz and her family are in real danger. The farther you stay away from them the better.”

Even after Marlee’s dad says this she still goes and meets Liz.. She really should have listened to her dad and that is an example of when Marlee is stubborn.

Up Until Know

In 1958 in Little Rock, Arkansas Governor Faubus ordered that all the high schools in Little Rock are to beclosed prevent integration. This meant that thousands of kids from the four high schools in Little Rock are without an education. Many students watched their classes on TV or were sent away to live with family members and attend school.

On November 5th, 1968 Richard NIxon beat Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 Presidential Election. He won with 301 electoral votes and 31,710,470 popular votes winning by just under a million popular votes.

On February 1st, 1978 the United States felt that the best way to honor Harriet Tubman was with a 13 cent stamp. Harriet Tubman is best known for helping slaves escape to freedom. A stamp is a way of honoring someone who helped make the US a better place.

On March 1, 1988 Wayne Gretzky sets the record for most NHL assists with 1,050. Previously Gordie Howe held the record until Wayne Gretzky passed him.

On September 11, 2001 Osama Bin Laden and his team of terrorists hijacked two planes and crashed them into the World Trade Centers in New York CIty. All of the people in the plane plus thousands more were killed instantly. Many people from all around were called into help. On May 2nd, 2011 Osama was killed by US forces.

On November 6th, 2012 Obama defeated Romney in the Presidential Election to win for his second time. Obama won 332 electoral votes and Romney won 206 electoral votes.