October 31

Dear Division 16,

As we approach the end of Lions of Little Rock, we’d like you to start thinking about some of the themes within the book and how they connect to our larger project on leadership.

For your homework this week, please think carefully about the themes that have emerged from this Read Aloud novel for you and answer at least ONE of the following questions in your response.

Remember that powerful responses will be written in full sentences, make specific references to events in the book and connect to our larger study on leadership.

  1. Do you think that if the book took place in current times that Marlee would have had different choices in how she responded to the situation in Little Rock?
  2. Do you think it’s ever right to do something wrong?
  3. Which character in the novel do you think best exemplifies leadership qualities?

Please specify which question you are answering by beginning with the number.

We look forward to your responses!



  1. Lightning Bolt


    Mrs. Dullton showed good leadership traits even though her husband is part of the K.K.K. She showed a part of herself when she joins the WEC. The Part of herself grew and grew into a woman who is against segregation and wanting to make a change. She fears that if her husband knows about her beliefs. Now, this is just a start to becoming a leader. Every leader has passed this. When she builds up the courage to stand up, she shows it when Marlee and her parents stop by her house but they got yelled at by her husband. When Marlee was gonna leave with the last hope from J.T, J.T pleaded and that’s when she takes matters into her own hands. She order what she wanted to happen because she had the courage to do so.

    • TamTam

      I love it! Not an obvious choice Lightning Bolt but you’re absolutely right and it’s true that we really got to watch her grow and change, especially in that example you gave.

  2. snapshot10101

    I think that under certain circumstances it is fine to do something wrong.
    the only thing you cant do is something really wrong e.g. blowing up your worst enemy’s house.

    the only thing that is wrong with this question, is that if it is okay to do something wrong, it turns into something right.

  3. smeagaleater10

    #2 The theme that I chose was hatred, I chose hatred because I think that it is an outstanding theme in Lions of Little rock. There was plenty of wrong things Marlee did because she thought it was right, for example, back then, when some people thought that it was wrong for a white girl to be friends with coloured girl but, she still stayed friends with Liz. The one thing that she did that I thought was the ultimate right but wrong was stealing the dynamite from Red’s car. It was wrong because she was breaking into someone’s car however it was right to extract the dynamite before Red could use it. Connecting to our larger study on leadership I thought that Marlee was being a leader by taking in it on herself to stop the haters.

    • TamTam

      Those are very powerful examples you’ve given to support your choice and it’s pretty hard to argue with that reasoning!

  4. lordofthepies05

    I think that doing something wrong is fine as long as you can make it right later.
    For example in the book JT lied and didn’t call out his brother for doing cruel stuff, but he realized that what his brother wa doing was wrong, and then he fixed it by telling his mom that Red was lieing.
    Also, Marlee (in my opinion) did the right thing by trying to get rid of the dynamite in Red’s car. Then later she did something wrong (, jumping into Red’s car and messing up the trunk) for the greater good.

  5. TamTam

    Thats some deep philosophical thinking lordofthepies05! You’ve identified some great examples from the book as justification for the characters’ actions.

  6. black circle

    the character in the book lions of little rock that best exemplifies leadership is Marlee because even though little rock was full of racism and discrimination she still tried her hardest to still be friends with a coloured girl named Elizabeth. I think its okay to do something wrong if people are treating you unfairly because of your gender,culture,religion and skin colour.

    • TamTam

      You managed to answer two of the 3 questions with that response black circle! Marlee really did work against all odds to keep her friendship with Liz alive, even when that commitment became dangerous and threatened her safety!

  7. electroe05


    I think that Liz or Marlee represent the most leadership because you would need to be very very brave and strong to hang out with coloured people at that time and vice versa for Liz. I agree with black circle that it is ok to do something wrong if it means you are in danger if you don’t do that thing

  8. game-master 2017

    So far I have enjoyed the book. Who knew the fifties where so racist (everybody), but still i cant believe that back then minors could throw dynamite at peoples homes and just be sent to the army these days you go to prison… then the army. I believe that it is never right to do something wrong that is literally why its called: the wrong thing.

  9. Awesomeness

    I think that Liz, shows good leadership because, she stood up for herself and others, she also was very brave to go to a all white school and be the only black girl and she still showed no fear then, and I also think that she is a vary good friend to have.

  10. hockey 101

    I think the character Marlee shows the most leadership in the story because, although she broke into Red’s car, which was wrong,
    she showed courage to lead by grabbing the last two sticks of dynamite. She was basically trying to protect Liz.

  11. Blue snowflake

    1. No, I don’t think that Marlee would have made different choices if it was in current times because when I was listening to the book, I thought of it like it was now and I can’t exactly imagine Marlee making different choices than the choices she had made. If Marlee’s situation was in current times, the police still wouldn’t be able to solve the problem, Marlee’s mom and dad would still try to get her away from the problem, and because racism still exists, people would be supporting her or go against her if they were in that situation.

    2. I think it all depends on what the bad thing is. So if someone does something bad for the people out there for example, ignore the warnings coming from others when you know you can fix something for people than I think it’s alright, but if that someone is doing it to satisfy themselves such as blowing up someone’s house for revenge or hatred than I don’t think it’s a good thing.

    3. I think that Betty Jean has good leadership qualities because she’s a dependable, comforting, and understanding person. She also defended Marlee when Marlee went to the coloured movie theatre by standing up for her when a stranger did not appreciate Marlee going to a coloured movie theatre. When Betty Jean wanted answers from Marlee, she did not hesitate to ask for them. And even comforted Marlee with ice tea and a nice talk after Marlee explained everything. In my opinion Betty Jean definitely exemplifies leadership qualities with her straight-forward personality and reliable character.

    • TamTam

      Wow those are great responses Blue Snowflake! I love what you had to say about Betty Jean, especially the part about her confronting Marlee head on when she wanted answers from her! Their relationship really developed in such a lovely and genuine way and Betty Jean consistently stepped up and did the right thing.

    • TamTam

      Wow those are all great responses Blue snowflake. I love what you said about Betty Jean, especially the way she always confronted Marlee head on when she expected answers from her. Their relationship developed in such a lovely way and Betty Jean consistently stepped up to do the right thing.

  12. Amythest

    1. I think that Marlee would’ve made some different decisions if the book held place in current times because there wouldn’t be as big of obstacles to get around currently including racism, but there are still issues with racism around the world. Marlee would’ve just had different options to chose from which would affect the rest of her decisions.

  13. 008rayray800

    I’m responding to question 2. I think it can be ok to do something wrong if its in the right circumstances. Like when Marlee stole Red’s keys to his car and stole the dynamite from his trunk. It is wrong to steal someone’s car keys, but to stop a bad person (ie: Red) it can be ok. I think this relates to leadership because if tour going to do something wrong for the right reasons, most time you need to have a leader. In this case it was Marlee in coming up with the idea and guiding Liz through with it.

  14. turtletown3030

    1. I think that if the story took place in current times, Marlee would have had much more choice in how she responded to the situation in Little Rock. Since the late 1950s, there are more avenues for free speech than there used to be (particularly with the rise of the internet), and many of the world’s cultures have taken some steps forward in supporting and advocating for the inclusion and belonging of many different types of people. However, discrimination still exists, and depending on the type of family and society as a person is born into, as well as the education they receive, their choices for how they respond to the world around them may be broad and supported or limited and censored. If the story took place now, I think Marlee would have tried hard to find ways to express her beliefs about how people should be treated. Maybe she would have made a blog!

    • TamTam

      Yes! What a remarkably insightful response turtletown3030. It’s absolutely true that the internet has given many people a vehicle for sharing beliefs and values, but it’s also very true that we are either “supported or limited and censored” depending on family, society, and education. I love the idea that Marlee would have started a blog. I believe she very well may have. Nice work!

  15. Timbit

    2. Yes, because that is how you learn from your mistakes. For an example, one time I was listening to music my mom came into my room and told me to take out the trash. I forgot and when i woke up the next next morning i got yelled at *cry cry*. So I learned from my mistake and did my chorus before listening to music.

    • TamTam

      We do need to sometimes make mistakes to learn and it sounds like you’ve had some experience with that, Timbit.

  16. aqua ant

    I believe that right know with all of the high security people wouldn’t have been able to get away with things as you could back in the 1950s . We have started to be more accepting to different cultures and races but you still will hear and see racism. I hope soon everyone can just accept diversity, its what makes us grow stronger together. I believe if Marlee were here now since their are more people that are brave enough to stand up for them selves, she would have stood with them and justified to make everyone equal.

  17. The Baconator

    I think that it is not right to do something wrong unless it is a mistake or if the person had good intentions. Other people have said that when Marlee stole Red’s car keys it was wrong but I disagree. Marlee was trying to prevent something bad from happening. She had to do what was necessary. In my mind that is not doing something wrong. If she had just stole his keys because he was a bad person that would be totally different.

    • TamTam

      I agree that her intentions were only good. As frightened as she was, she was even more frightened by what might happen if she didn’t act. It was, in no way, a selfish act.

  18. Day Dreamer

    I think Marlee best exemplifies leadership qualities because she is very brave, she is a good helper, she is trust worthy and she is smart. In the novel Marlee proves she is brave because she faced her fears by talking to people and two other fears she faced are climbing a tree and going on a plain. Marlee proofs she is a good helper when she helps her friend face her fear of crawdads she also helped many other friends with stuff. She is trust worthy because in the book she had to keep a secret about how she always saw Liz at the rook crusher she also had to keep a secret about her sister having a boyfriend. Marlee proofs that she is smart because at one point in the book she helps (dos) some ones hone work.

  19. the engineer

    #2 I think that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you can clean up your mess after your mistake occurs. The mistake where Marlee gets stuck in Red’s car turned out to be a good mistake because it led to Red being caught and sent to the army.

    #3 I think J.T. represents leadership qualities because even though he was mean to Marlee at first, later on he changed and started being nice to her. Most importantly, he told Marlee where Red was putting the dynamite and that he was going to bomb Elizabeths house. That shows that J.T. is able to stand up for what is right when its important. Also he admitted to his math teacher that he was cheating in math. His teacher already knew about the cheating but its still nice because J.T. was not aware of that.

    • TamTam

      Oh I love that you chose JT as someone representing leadership. He is not an obvious choice, but I really agree with your reasoning. Nice!

  20. Dark-type_trainer🖤

    I think the person that represent leaderships qualities is Liz Fullerton even if she’s a negroe I doesn’t mean she cant be a leader the reason why is because she is brave enough to go to the white school 👱🏻‍♀️👩🏾 But the main reason to me is how did she become white when she is black?

    It was quite horrific when Marlee was stuck in Reds car or when she stands up to JT about the tutorings it was really surprising when Marlee took the dynamite but its ok 👌 to make mistakes and you clean it up after.

  21. Snort

    I think that Marlee exemplifies leadership qualities because she was brave and helpful. In this book Marlee was brave and faced her fears by talking to others, and climbing a tree. Marlee was helpful by helping Liz to face her fears of crawdads and by helping J.T. with his homework.

  22. Do it for da Hwin

    3. I think that there are many characters in the book that represents bravery and leadership but the one person that really popped out for me was Marlee’s mom because when she was up doing that speech I felt so inspired and it was a very brave and courageous and I think those are some really good qualities of a leader.

  23. Joaquin

    #2 First it depends on the situation second it depends on what you classifie being wrong and third what would be the consequences of your actions after your take all of this in to consideration then and only then is it ok to do some thing “wrong”.

  24. YourBroZeke

    2.) I think that sometimes it is doing the right thing when your doing something wrong for example: a cop speeding over the speed limits because there’s a crime being committed somewhere nearby. They are doing something bad/wrong but for the cause of something good/right.

  25. chiefblobfish

    I think that a lie is a bad thing unless it has a purpose for good in the wold. Like how Marlee kept her friendship safe with liz by lieing. Also how liz kept her secret identity as being a black person witch is a big lie to.

  26. what the what!

    #2 In my opinion doing something wrong is bad, but in certain situations it’s ok as long as it doesn’t affect anybody for instance when Marlee took Red’s key to his car and took out the dynamite from the trunk.She shouldn’t have done that because it put herself in danger but if she didn’t go into Red’s car he would have all the dynamite and who knows what he would have done if he did.

  27. Flying pinguin

    I think that it’s not right to do something wrong. In this book Liz was being left out because she was a coloured girl. I think this is wrong to leave anyone from the group as it would be uncomfortable to leave someone out.

  28. bow tie 12


    I think it’s ok to do something rong, even though it’s bad you might be doing it to help someone or solve something. But I think that it should not be something just for the fun of it, if it effect others. But it’s different if it won’t effect any one. Sorta like when red threw the bomb into the house that really effectively everyone not just for the people in the house. I bet the rest of Little Rock was not feeling safe. But it was different when Marley went into the back of reds truck because that did not effect outher she put her self in danger but no one else, but that was a big risk she took!

  29. mistacheeseman


    If you’re doing something bad for some people but good for the rest of the world it would most likely be okay.
    For example, Marlee broke into Red’s truck and that a bad thing to do,but she also got proof that Red blew up Betty Jean’s house which got Red sent to the army.
    This shows that Marlee took a big risk in order to save lifes and that is a sign of leadership.

  30. Narwhalz

    I think that yes in the right scenario you might have to do something wrong to get a right but only in desperate situations. I don’t really know what I would do in Marlees place but my first thought was that she was doing something wrong.

  31. Snapshot1178

    I think it is ok to do something wrong as long as you fix it after. but i do not think it is ok to hurtful things and do not fix it. when you try to fix thing that you have done I think of it sort of like a cut you can put a band-aid on it and wait for it to heal or you can get stitches. with ether one of these you have to wait because fixing what you did wrong will take time. time to gather courage because it can be hard to apologize to people that you have done something wrong to. I think it is a lot better to take a risk and say sorry then to wait for ever util you forget. I think it is ok do do something wrong as long as you make it better like those three white students who apologize to the little rock nine. that must have taken a lot of courage but they did it any way because they knew it was the right thing to do.

  32. DairyKing07

    2. I think its ok to do wrong things only for a legit reason. Why because if you have to do something bad it may affect someone in a positive or negative way. For example, someone is going to do bad things to a family member what would you do?

  33. ThePlatypusLife

    I believe that it is sometimes good to do something wrong, but only if you are convinced you are doing the right thing. for example, if you know that you are not allowed to, but you are only not allowed to because someone misunderstood you when you were trying to explain. it is also ok if you know you shouldn’t but you know that it will cause other people pain. like when Marlee stole the keys to Red’s car. she was doing it because she was afraid of what Red might do to hurt other people with it. but doing anything wrong is only ever ok if you try to make it right after and apologize.

  34. sleepingsquirrel64

    I think that she whould make different choices due to the world evolving. like how the racism has lessened so she would not need to sneak to be with liz so a lot of the plot points would not exist enough back to have liz not be kicked from the school.

  35. Spirit Heart

    # 3:
    Marlee and Liz show very good leadership in this book. They both chose to be friends in a time that they were not supposed to be because of their skin colors. They didn’t let the color of their skin get in the way of their friendship.

  36. Pug_life

    I think that it is ok to do something wrong unless it is something very bad like throwing tnt in someone’s house then no but if it is like you mess up a math test then it is ok to do.

  37. Catzrule


    I know its probably the most obvious answer but I think that Marlee shows the most leadership because even though she got really scary phone calls and letters, she still kept working with S.T.O.P, the W.E.C, AND she still talked to Liz. I think some of her qualities are perseverance, courage, and bravery… you can’t be a leader without those qualities!

  38. magicalnesses

    I think it can be okay to do something wrong under certain circumstances. Marlee stole Red’s car keys to prevent Liz’s house from being bombed. She was doing something wrong, to make something right. In this case I think it was okay to do something wrong because she was protecting her friend.

  39. Mystery

    #1 In 1958 Marlee was 13 years old ther was segregation which means the separation or Isolation of a race and class. If Marlee was in our current age and time her choices would have been really different from 1958 because she has the right to speak up for her opinion. If the book took place in our time I think that it would change a lot

  40. Helga

    1. Yes I think that if the book took place in current times Marlee would have other chocies for what to do. For one marlee could use social media to speak out against segregation, another thing that would be diffrent now is she would have better access to the internet for research and better mobile phones so she could text the members of the Stop (the political organization she is in) group instead instead of just phoning them from home.

  41. crum

    #3. I believe that Marlee showed the most leader ship because she really cared about liz and no matter how many people tried to separate them she always tried to make it easier to see each other. she is very brave.

  42. Lam

    3. I think that Marlee’s dad showed a lot of leadership because when ever something was wrong he would be the first one to try to make things better, like when Kirtis got sent to jail, he was the one to bail him out.

  43. Mouk

    I think it is good to do things wrong because for me it’s part of taking risks and learning from them. BUT when you do the wrong thing and it seems to bug someone or something then it is good practice for solving problems as well as that you still do have to not do to many wrong things other wise it might give you a bad reputations that you don’t want.

  44. The phantome blade

    I don’t think that it is ever right to do something wrong because you could get in trouble with your family or if it was really bad then you could have the police get involved and maybe go to jail.

  45. Jet

    Frankly, wrong and right depends on opinions. Someone’s wrong could be seen as a right. Like racism at the time it was considered ok to call an African-American/Canadian person bad names and do cruel things to them or even just seeing white people in a higher light or level was considered ok. Since we’ve changed so much these past years racism has been seen to be wrong. By most people of course so sometimes it’s not good or bad to do something wrong it’s only your opinion in whether that thing was actually right or wrong

  46. Mr Blog

    #3 I think that Liz was the character who best exemplifies leadership qualities because she helped Marlee become more confident with herself and she accepted critisizm. She even learned from Marlee like when she was trying to be less open with her thoughts.
    Liz really set a good exsample for every person in Little Rock she was very brave to be friends with marlee.

  47. patrick star

    All the characters in the book we’re great, and they all had big great personality’s. Liz had the biggest personality because she did anything for her and her family.

  48. hippodude2005

    i chose number 2 and i think its OK to do something wrong as long as its for the right cause and nobody gets hurt.

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