Everything’s changing for twelve-year-old Marlee. Her brother’s gone off to college and her sister’s moved out of the room they’ve shared since Marlee was born. To Marlee, it feels like her whole world’s falling apart.
     On top of all that, she’s starting middle school and has to break in new teachers—teachers who don’t yet know Marlee doesn’t talk. At least not until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is she’s brave, brash and always knows the right thing to say, especially to the resident mean girl, Sally. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her fear of speaking. But when Liz leaves school without even a good-bye, the rumor is that Liz was really a colored girl caught passing for white. Marlee decides that doesn’t matter. She just wants her friend back. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are even willing to take on segregation and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
"Creating a book that reads as though written in one effortless breath requires a rare talent . . Readers will root for a painfully shy girl to discover the depths of her own courage and find hope in the notion that even in tumultuous times, standing up for the people you love can’t be wrong. Satisfying, gratifying, touching, weighty—this authentic piece of work has got soul."—The New York Times Book Review

“Kristin Levine’s The Lions of Little Rock, the story of a black girl and a white girl who become friends during the integration of that city’s schools in 1958, has been awarded the New-York Historical Society’s first children’s history book prize.”—New-York Historical Society Children’s History Book Prize Award

“A story of friendship between two girls in the civil-rights-era South.”—The New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Award

* “The remarkable story of the Little Rock Nine is familiar to many, but what happened next? In this quietly powerful page-turner, Levine focuses her attention on the events that unfolded in Little Rock the year after the integration of the city’s public schools.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* “With remarkable depth and clarity, Levine unflinchingly portrays racial tension in the 1950s Deep South. Reader will be moved by Marlee and Liz’s strong bonds and inspired by Marlee’s unwavering tenacity in the face of what seems like insurmountable adversity.”—School Library Journal, starred review

* “Successfully weaving historical events with a dynamic personal narrative, Levine (The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had) offers a riveting, frequently tense portrait of 1958 Little Rock, Ark., the tumultuous year when the governor refused integration by closing local high schools.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review