Little Rock Nine

Written by Marshall Poe
Review by Viviane Crystal

William McNally is a 16-year-old white resident of Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. His best friend is 15- year-old Thomas Johnson, an African-American student who attends a different school because segregated schools are the normal standard for that time. Imagine how Thomas feels when he is spit upon and threatened with physical violence for wanting to attend a white high school. The majority has its way and Thomas is continually reminded by his father that they must accept their status and not go looking for trouble. Even within William’s family there is conflict as his father and grandfather verbally debate the right of African-American students to have the same rights as white students to the best possible education. The conflict escalates due to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that all states must desegregate their schools. When the Governor of Arkansas tries to block this federal order, the American President chooses a course of action that will change the tide of history and thus the lives of William and Thomas forever. Exciting and historically accurate, Little Rock Nine is a fine graphic novel (illustrated by Ellen Lindner) depicting the shame and pride of all involved in this memorable historical period!