It was the end of summer break, 1958 in Little Rock, Arkansas. School would be starting soon for 12-year-old Marlee, who is the main character. At supper, Marlee's father announces that Judy, Marlee's sister, won't be going to school due to segregation.
I heard you stopped doing my little brother's homework.
Marlee was sitting at her desk, waiting for school to start, when she noticed a new girl sitting at the desk where Sally, the all-popular mean girl sits. When Sally gets there to find the new girl siting there, she confronts her. The new girl, who is later introduced as Elizabeth, or Liz, talks back to Sally, and Marlee is in awe at her bravery.
Marlee and Liz immediately become best friends. One day, Marlee goes to school and finds out that Liz was expelled. The two girls didn't want their friendship to drift, so they keep meeting up at by the lions, every Tuesday. Although their best intentions, the two girls' friendship put both their families in danger.
I missed you so much!
I missed you too!
Marlee's dad found out she was hanging out with Liz and banned her from seeing her again. Marlee disobeyed and continued to hang out with Liz, though they couldn't go meet up at the zoo, they decided to meet up at the Rock Crusher. There, they bump into JT (a boy from school who Marlee has a crush on) and his brother, Red. They find dynamite and Red threatens to blow up Marlee's house. Marlee attempts to stop him and got locked in the trunk of his car.
Are you going to beat me up, Red?
Marlee managed to convince everyone that Red has the dynamite, and threaten to blow up her house. Mr. Delton, the principle of her school, send him to a military camp, hoping the could shape him up. Marlee and Liz are still friends but they decided to wait and see eachother again after segregation is over.
You'll pay for this, Marlee.
After segregation is over, Liz comes back to Marlee's school and the two girls continue to spend time with each other. This book teaches you that you shouldn't judge people by their skin color.