Saturday, September 29, 2012

Miracles Can Happen!


Perhaps Miracles Can Happen is an overzealous title, but... I have never listened to an entire audio book. I love to have a hard copy of a book in my hands and to turn the pages. However, a friend (you know who you are) encouraged me to try, The Lions of Little Rock on CD.  I was skeptical, but I thought, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen? Maybe, I’ll waste a few minutes in my drive listening to a book. If it's bad I can always turn on the radio.’ I know this is not the mentality I should have had, but I love to have a 'real' book in my hands and to turn the pages.

The miracle began the moment I put the CD in my car CD player and I heard, 'I talk a lot. Just not out loud where anyone can hear me.' This novel was fantastic on so many levels. First it was the first audio book I ever listened to in its entirety without turning to a normal book. I listened to it in my car. Well actually I began by listening to it in my car, and then I wanted to hear what happened next so I took it inside and listened as I cooked dinner. Then I had a project to do that required the use of my hands, so I listened while I worked. When I drove my daughter to her lesson I listened and when I took my son to the doctor, (well I bet you can guess) I listened then, too. Do you know what happened next? Yes, you guessed it; my children got hooked on the story as well.

This is a historical fiction novel that takes place in 1958 in Little Rock, Arkansas. It begins the summer after the Little Rock 9 attended Central High School. I learned so much, my children learned so much and it was better than any history class I ever had. Kristin Levine takes you into Little Rock and plops you right into the heart of the story. Her scenes are realistic. The drama, the fear and the circumstances were based on what the people of Little Rock experienced in 1958 and 1959. This was the year the high schools in Little Rock were closed because the people did not want integrated schools. The whites sent their students to private schools or sent them to live with out-of-city relations. This was not possible for the Negroes at the time. There weren’t private schools for them and, with the public high schools closed, they had no other option.

This is a truly amazing story that will capture your attention and transport you back in time. It is a story of friendship, political inequality and the struggle to do what is right. It will make you believe that miracles can happen. Yes I listened to an audio book in its entirety but more miraculous than that the people of Little Rock decided not to keep silent. They chose to take a stand and changed the lives of their children and themselves.  Definitely take the time to read or listen to the author’s note. It is worth every minute of your time.

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