Saturday, July 21, 2018
The Lions of Little Rock
Following the forced desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas in 1957, Governor Orval Faubus ordered all the high schools in Little Rock to be closed during the 1958-9 to stop "race mixing" in the schools. This fictional account of that school year focuses on a junior high student named Marlee who is painfully shy. With the help of her new friend, Liz, Marlee begins to overcome her inability to talk to people. Then it is discovered that Liz is an African-American passing as white. In spite of parental orders, the girls continue to see each other. The political situation in town becomes heated and Marlee finds herself in the middle of the dispute, all the while coming into her own voice. This is an excellent story about the often overlooked events that followed the Little Rock Nine's entry into the school. The "n" word is used in the book a few times but always in the context of the racist members of the community and it is made clear that its use is unacceptable.