Tuesday, February 14, 2012


One of my favorite books so far this year is THE LIONS OF LITTLE ROCK by Kristin Levine. It's Kristin's second historical novel (THE BEST BAD LUCK I EVER HAD was the first, and it too features an unlikely friendship and is not to be missed), and it's a great read.

If you'd like a summary, check out this lovely review in The New York Times and another review at Everyday Reading.

The thing that struck me about the book is that it's really about activism. (And really, how many YA titles out there include activism?) It gives kids a great picture of the kind of work it takes to actually change things in the world. And Marlee is a character you really root for. She changes a lot over the course of this "lost year" after the Little Rock Nine made headlines.

And did I mention there's a number of scenes that take place at a zoo? Yep.

Well done, Kristin! This one is sure to be a strong awards contender. Check it out. And since I reallyreallyreally want you to read it, I'm giving away a copy. Leave a comment, and you're in!

Contest will close midnight CST next Tuesday, Feb. 21.


  1. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of a new book to read!

  2. My brother and my uncle were at Central High School during the "troubles." My brother was quietly sympathetic to the "nine" whereas, my uncle was on the wrong side of history. He participated in many of the protests outside of the school. The Lost Year at Central High School was my brother's senior year. My parents sent him to live with our aunt in Texas where he finished his education. I'll be reading the book and share it with family.

    Mark Hubbs, author of "The Secret of Wattensaw Bayou"

  3. Thanks for the recommendation. I look forward to reading this one. It sounds like a good book to pass along to some of my older students.

  4. I always love your book recommendations, and this is one I want to read (and my girls as well).

    My mother-in-law was a teacher in Little Rock during this time.


  5. I don't need a copy, of course, because I already have one, but I love this book and I'm so happy to see it getting good reviews!

  6. My husband and I were just saying we wanted to get a copy of this for our daughter! She's only 6 now, so maybe a little young to read it right away, but she's very interested in the civil rights movement. As a YA writer, I'm excited to read this one, too.

  7. This sounds like a great book. I've always got my eye out for good historical fiction and I haven't read many books that focus on this era.


Your thoughts?