The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Marlee has always been scared of talking.
Her mother pressures her to say five words a day. This, and the fact that her best friend makes fun of her for not talking, has not made middle school easy. But when Liz, a brilliant, fun-loving, witty girl shows up, Marlee thinks she can do it. Liz, her new friend, has changed her world.
Until Liz is caught trying to pass for a white girl.
It is 1958, and the struggle of segregation is real in Little Rock, Arkansas. To continue to be friends with Liz could give Marlee trouble. Sad for her friend and wishing things could go back to the way they were, Marlee seeks out Liz, not knowing the danger she is putting herself, Liz, and everyone they love in.
Soooo good! I love love love it. It is a strong testament to friendship and would make a great gift for a friend. I'd recommend 10+.