Krisitin Levine’s sensitive and engaging novel The Lions of Little Rock takes place during the struggle to integrate public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958. The narrator is 12 year old Marlee , who seldom speaks to anyone except family members. Math whiz Marlee prefers numbers to words, “ In math, you always get the same answer, no matter how you do the problem. But with words, blue can be a thousand different shades!” That changes when she becomes friends with Liz, a new girl at school. Their friendship is disrupted when Liz suddenly disappears from school after it is discovered that she is black and not welcome at the still segregated school. The story that follows is not only about Marlee finding her voice in many ways, but also about the courage it took for individuals in the Little Rock community to find their voices, come together, and stand up for what is right. The author successfully combines themes of friendship, family, and profound issues in our society with a light enough touch that makes the book a pleasure to read, and encourages the reader to reflect on all the issues the story presents.
Recommended by: Amy Friedman, The Learning Curve@Central Library
In eighteenth-century West Africa, a boy raised by his blacksmith father and the Mother Elements–Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth–is captured and taken to America as a slave.
“Loved ones are never forgotten
When we continue to tell their stories.” (from back cover of the book)
Before reading this story/poem, learn a new word “griot” – meaning a West African storyteller, praise singer, poet, and musician. The griot relates the story of Dinga, the blacksmith, and his son Musafa, who becomes one of “the Taken”. Dinga calls to the four elements – earth, fire, water, wind – to find his son. Each element tells about its search, and wind, becoming a hurricane to cross the ocean, finds Musafa – a slave apprenticed to a blacksmith. The drawing by Leo and Diane Dillon enliven the story, making it a work of art.
Recommended by Cindy Childers, Garfield Park Branch Library
Eliza is a slave on a tobacco plantation in Alexandria, Virginia in the 1850s. Eliza is unusual because she has been taught to read and write. Eliza keeps a diary of her life on the plantation and she is a good storyteller.
Eliza tells about how it felt when her mother was sold away. She tells about how scared she is when she hears Sir’s boots walking toward her. Her words make her experiences feel real while you reading her diary. I felt scared when Eliza felt scared. Just thinking about the sound of the boots, “thump, thump, thump” gives me shivers.
Eliza overhears a conversation about herself before an upcoming slave auction:
“Late in the day, a man came to see Sir. When I passed through the parlor I heard him say something to Sir about the price I would fetch. I pretended I did not hear the talk. But I am in so much fear.” page 29
Eliza decides it is time to run. She has a quilt her mother made that has pictures in it. The pictures, a mysterious women called the Conductor and a series of friends help Eliza find her way to freedom on the Underground Railroad. This is a great book if you want to feel like you are right there, hearing and seeing and feeling the same things that Eliza heard and saw and felt. Author: Jerdine Nolen
Deza Malone is on a journey. The verbose 12-year old, whom readers first met in Bud, Not Buddy, has lived her entire life in Gary, Indiana, with her mother, father, and 15-year old brother, Jimmie.
A passionate reader, she wants to be just like her teacher, Miss Needham, when she grows up. But it is 1936 and the Great Depression has forced her father to look for work in Flint, Michigan. When a month goes by without a letter from him, her mother decides the family should follow him to Flint.
Their trip north takes them through a hobo camp, where Jimmie disappears, bringing even more changes for Deza. Her mother finds a job in Flint, and Deza faces life in a new city with a new school, new teachers, and new neighbors, all while remaining hopeful that her family will be reunited.
I love Deza’s spunky personality and how she remains true to herself as she dreams of finding that place called Wonderful. Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
A biography of the Alabama black woman whose refusal to give up her seat on a bus helped establish the civil rights movement.
I love his [David A. Adler] books because one i love mystery and its really funny. The one i really love is cam jansen and the stolen diamonds. i loved it some much that i did it for my book report project. I also loved the rosa park one i even passed the quiz i had on it. Thats how i know i love the book. I hope one day you will read one of his books and you will love it just like me. I hope you enjoy the little thank you for reading have a good day.