Abby’s Letter Essay #3: The Lions of Little Rock

Last week I just finished the book lions of Little Rock by Kristen Levine.  It had 276 pages and the genre was historical fiction.   The book was published in January 2012. Levine received her Bachelor of Arts in German from Swarthmore College and a masters of fine Arts in film from American University. Kristen Currently lives in Alexandria Virginia with her two daughters. The first book she wrote is The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had.  It was even on The Americans Library Associations 2010 list of Best Books for young Adults.  However the Lions of Little Rock was selected for numerous stat readings list, was a New York Times Sunday book review editor’s choice and received New York Historical society children’s History book prize.   I never read Kristen Levine’s book but I should do it more often.  It brought me to tears and joy.  The book is basically takes place in the 1960’s in the time period of segregation. I chose this book because I know a lot of friends who read it said great things about it.

Marley is a normal girl. She’s the youngest in her family. With one older brother, older sister, and two parents. She attends a normal middle school and loves her life in the 1960s. Until one day the government of Little Rock decided on combining races to the public schools. Many people in the area protested against it. Gunshots fired and fights broke out. Some parents even took their kids out of school. At Marley’s school a new girl arrived. Her skin was light tan like she got a nice tan over summer break. Her name was Elizabeth but she likes to be called Liz.  Liz is cheerful, always happy, and very outgoing. The complete opposite of what Marley is. It turns out the two opposites became the best of friends. Liz taught Marley things she wasn’t confident about. Surprisingly Liz taught Marley to speak in front of the class.  One school day Liz didn’t show up for class or the day after that, or the day after that. It turns out Liz’s mother took her out of the school system for security reasons and she won’t be attending Marley’s school anymore. Leaving Marley heartbroken she had to find Liz and the real reason she left. When she did Liz told Marley she was passing white and threats were made out to her. It’s extremely dangerous for the two girls to meet so they met in private. Even when teenagers decided to through dynamite. Would anything separate these two girls?

The book Lions of Little Rocket brought me tears of joy and sadness. It’s full of emotion and suspense in every chapter. The message of the book to me is don’t let anything break up your friendship with your friends or family. Like Marley and Liz nothing stopped them not even putting their lives in danger or segregation. I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m happy I picked it up.

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3 thoughts on “Abby’s Letter Essay #3: The Lions of Little Rock

  1. Abby,
    I loved Lions of Little Rock! It’s one of my favorite quick reads, the story is deep and meaningful, but also playful and enjoyable. Your letter essay was very captivating, but you were missing a few important elements. Don’t forget to use your Letter Essay Checklist! Other wise nice work!


  2. Abby,
    I have herd of this book before but I never new what it is about after reading you letter essay now I know what this book is about and I would really consider reading it. I thought you letter essay was really well written but maybe next time you can include a quoted passage and how you picked this book.


  3. Abby,
    I enjoyed reading your letter-essay, and I’ve heard lots of positive stuff about this book – I picked up Levine’s other book this summer, started it, but never finished it. Your beginning of your letter-essay is solid and so is your summary. But you don’t really have a reflection; remember to use those sentence starters and to include a quoted passage. Use the checklist, and you should get full credit, in the future.

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