MARCH FORWARD, GIRL by Melba Pattillo Beals


From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine
Age Range: 10 - 16
Email this review


One of the Little Rock Nine describes her childhood in the years leading up to the 1957 event.

Beals’ moving adult memoir, Warriors Don’t Cry (1994), painted a harrowing portrait of her experience as one of the African-American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Here she shares her memories of growing up in the segregated South and what led her to challenge Jim Crow laws. She describes a warm, loving family environment where church and education were highly valued. These positives are not always enough to outweigh the darkness she feels from witnessing and experiencing racism from whites in stores or even those doing business in and around her home. There are episodes involving the Ku Klux Klan and even the lynching of a family acquaintance, experiences that leave Beals with a desire for justice and an abhorrence of the treatment of blacks at the hands of whites. When she is among those chosen to integrate Central High School, the determination she needs has been building for years. This narrative is told in a conversational tone, full of personal stories and remembrances. Beals pinpoints clearly the injustices and pain of her early years and shows how they prepared her for the challenges of making history, intertwining these stories with more personal coming-of-age recollections. Archival photographs and Morrison’s drawings punctuate the pages. (Final art not seen.)

A valuable addition to the stories of life in Jim Crow America. (Memoir. 10-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-328-88212-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2017


ChildrenTHE ROOTS OF RAP by Carole Boston Weatherford
by Carole Boston Weatherford
ChildrenSTARSTRUCK by Kathleen Krull
by Kathleen Krull
ChildrenI GOT THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT by Connie Schofield-Morrison
by Connie Schofield-Morrison


ChildrenTURNING 15 ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
ChildrenFREEDOM SUMMER by Susan Goldman Rubin
by Susan Goldman Rubin
ChildrenBROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson
by Jacqueline Woodson