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Publisher's Summary

The landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, brought the promise of integration to Little Rock, Arkansas, but it was hard-won for the nine black teenagers chosen to integrate Central High School in 1957. They ran a gauntlet flanked by a rampaging mob and a heavily armed Arkansas National Guard-opposition so intense that soldiers from the elite 101st Airborne Division were called in to restore order. For Melba Beals and her eight friends those steps marked their transformation into reluctant warriors - on a battlefield that helped shape the civil rights movement.
Warriors Don't Cry, drawn from Melba Beals's personal diaries, is a riveting true account of her junior year at Central High-one filled with telephone threats, brigades of attacking mothers, rogue police, fireball and acid-throwing attacks, economic blackmail, and, finally, a price upon Melba's head. With the help of her English-teacher mother; her eight fellow warriors; and her gun-toting, Bible-and-Shakespeare-loving grandmother, Melba survived. And, incredibly, from a year that would hold no sweet-sixteen parties or school plays, Melba Beals emerged with indestructible faith, courage, strength, and hope.
©1994 Melba Patillo Beals (P)2011 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Beals, one of the nine black students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, AR, in 1957, tells an incredible story of faith, family love, friendships, and strong personal commitment." ( School Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gillian on 01-18-16

Proud of My Race? Well, Proud of Shared Humanity!

Based on her diaries and on her English teacher mother's copious notes and newspaper clippings, this memoir comes on challenging, hard-hitting, and with a human warmth that you just hunger for. Melba is the perfect personification for the huge challenge of Central High's integration--not that the other individuals aren't worthwhile, but there's just such a strength within her innocence, such love and gentleness within her steely resilience, it's just overwhelming at times. She was a young girl; she was a soldier. And she always questioned segregation and second-class citizenship: Why isn't ever our turn? She was perfect for the challenges she later faced (challenges that would've, quite honestly, broken me).
Right away, from the time the law has changed, Melba is thrust into the world of adults with big ideas--those that further grand designs, and those that further threats of violence. And right away, the violence, at least turns real.
This memoir is chock full of the politics, the violence of the time, but it's also full of the freshness of the heart, of a girl who just wants to be her age and go to a pajama party (but who isn't invited due to fears it might be targeted for violence if she went), of a girl whose grandmother hammers in a painting and she frantically wakes up, dreaming that she's been shot.
And you know, it's bad enough the violence children inflict up each other, but it's drop-dead horrific the twisted hatred adults will bear towards the innocent. This memoir has anger, blood, and fire. But it has friendship, loyalty, and faith too.
Most of all, it has Melba--somebody so profoundly human, yet so courageous it's astounding.
And by the way? The performance of Lisa Renee Pitts is extraordinary! She captures hope, hatred, conveys suspense, dread, and love. Really, this is a great, great book. Well worth your credit, and to say it's worth your time? Hell, it'll change the way you look at life...

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5 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Drenna on 08-03-15

inspiring and Encouraging book

This book was required for summer reading for my daughter. I'm so glad I got the chance to listen through audible. My daughter and I talked about courage and the importance of developing that quality. Melba and the other eight certainly displayed that quality!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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