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Warriors Don't Cry

Warriors Don't Cry

For Ages: 12 and up
  • common core
An innocent teenager.
An unexpected hero.


In 1957, Melba Pattillo turned sixteen. That was also the year she became a warrior on the front lines of a civil rights firestorm. Following the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, Melba was one of nine teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock's Central High School.

Throughout her harrowing ordeal, Melba was taunted by her schoolmates and their parents, threatened by a lynch mob's rope, attacked with lighted sticks of dynamite, and injured by acid sprayed in her eyes. But through it all, she acted with dignity and courage, and refused to back down.

This is her remarkable story.
Choose a format:
  • Simon Pulse | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416948827 | 
  • July 2007 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
My grandmother India always said God had pointed a finger at our family, asking for just a bit more discipline, more praying, and more hard work because he had blessed us with good health and good brains. My mother was one of the first few blacks to integrate the University of Arkansas, graduating in 1954. Three years later, when Grandma discovered I would be one of the first blacks to attend Central High School, she said the nightmare that had surrounded my birth was proof positive that destiny had assigned me a special task.
First off, I was born on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941. Mother says while she was giving birth... see more

About the Author

Melba Pattillo Beals

Melba Pattillo Beals is a journalist and member of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who were the first to integrate Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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