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 brave, brash and always knows the right things 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.
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by Gail Carson Levine
by Kate Johnson
by Jodi Thomas
by Joan Johnston
by David Young
by Christine Stovell
by Barbara Freethy
by Susan Wittig Albert
by Laura Moriarty
by Catherine Anderson
"Kristin Levine paints Little Rock, Arkansas, through the eyes of 11-year-old Marlee Nisbitt, a white student who is in middle school the year after the renowned integration of Central High School. As the new school year unfolds, Marlee grapples with holding onto a new friend; missing her sister, who has been sent away for her high school education; and trying to understand the strong feelings of her parents and the citizens of Little Rock concerning integration. Julia Whelan gives an even-voiced and nonjudgmental narration. As Marlee, her voice is questioning, confident, and, at times, full of the foolhardiness of youth; as Marlee's new friend, Liz, she sounds subtly yet consistently determined. Whelan also provides steely voices for the bullying Dalton brothers and a tight voice for Marlee's anxious father. An interview with the author expands on the time period and her reasons for choosing the year after the integration of Central High for her novel. A.R. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"
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