By Kristin Levine
Putnam Juvenile, 2012
Two girls separated by race form an unbreakable bond during the tumultuous integration of Little Rock schools in 1958.
Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn't have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear - speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family.
But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn't matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
This book was absolutely amazing. I learned a lot from this book. I had absolutely no idea that the schools shut down for so long! Seeing a different, lesser-known part of history was so interesting. Everyone knows about the Little Rock Nine, but maybe not so much about what happened after that. It's always easier to learn something when there is a good story to go with it and strong characters.
I loved Marlee! Watching her grow was amazing. I felt like I knew her and was so happy for her whenever she did something that scared her. On the other hand, whenever she did something stupid and completely out of character, I was so MAD at her (and proud at the same time.)
This was a recommendation, and I'm so glad I heard about it. You should read it. I think it would make a really good movie.