Customer Reviews for

Warriors Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2010

    A review in the eye of a student

    The integration of Little Rock's Central High School was a difficult and treacherous battle for the Nine African-Americans that took that huge step for the moving forward of integration. Throughout reading Beals' awe-inspiring memoir of the first year at Central High, she speaks of the daily torment and abuse she lives through everyday. Whether she is sprayed in the eyes with acid, escaping a torture chamber of a bathroom, or dodging a lighted stick of dynamite, Melba Pattillo Beals proves herself to be a warrior. "During my junior year in high school, I lived at the center of a violent civil rights conflict." (Beals pg. 1) Melba Pattillo was a young African-American girl, who was one of the nine brave African-Americans who would help America take another step forward to end segregation. Her tear-jerking memoir reveals her first year in Arkansas' Central High school of Little Rock. Through her book, the reader can join Melba on her riveting first year. While reading the memoir "Warriors Don't Cry" The reader is able to experience the hardships that little Melba had gone through during her first year at Central High such as, " 'bombs away!' " (Pg 164) Melba has entered the restroom and has locked herself in the stall, while girls on the outside push to keep her inside, "I looked up too see a flaming paper wad coming right down on me. 'We'll burn you alive girl'." (Pg. 164) Melba had been savagely attacked, and almost caught fire several times, but after that day she learned to use the bathroom before she came to school. Beals does an amazing job of describing and truly portraying her feelings through her writing. She has a talent of communicating her thoughts and feelings. Although reading "Warriors don't cry" is sometimes difficult and one may want to put the book down, because many parts can get sad at times like the part in the book where Melba is sprayed with acid in the eyes, and almost loses sight in both eyes. "The sudden pain in my eyes was so intense, so sharp, I thought I'd die." (Pg. 173) But the reader is still able to relate to the main character, Melba. The best part was learning how this young woman could over come any and every obstacle that came her way, "I ducked down quickly to avoid a hard white object whizzing past my head.It was a golf ball wrapped in paper...'It's just beautiful. Thank-you.'" (Pg. 259) Melba learned that to control her temper and prevent a potential fight she must always be polite and remember her manners. She decided by saying 'thank-you' and 'oh how nice of you' the white kids would lose the pleasure in making her miserable. This book has inspired many, and also helped people to overcome and deal with life's obstacles. The integration of Little Rock's Central High School was a difficult and treacherous battle for Melba Patillo and the eight other African-Americans that took that huge step for the moving forward of integration. Throughout reading Beals' awe-inspiring memoir of her first year at the once all white Central High School she speaks of the daily torment and abuse she has to live through. Even when she is sprayed in the eyes with acid, escaping a torture chamber of a bathroom, or dodging a lighted stick of dynamite, Melba Pattillo Beals proves herself to be a warrior.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    Great Book!

    This is one of the best books that I have read. Warriors don't cry, by Melba Pattio Beals, is a real story about Beal as a young girl who was chosen to integrate Little Rock's Central High due to the Brown Vs. Board of Education case, but I would say her story is most likely much sadder than the other nine who were also chosen. She goes through many harsh things in her life such as name calling, almost getting raped, getting beat up, and lots of other struggles just cause of racial discrimination back then, yet she is still so perseverant, courageous, and outstanding. It makes me wonder if I was exactly the same person I am, but if I was born during that time, and I saw Melba Pattio Beals would I be the same as everyone else by making fun of her, or would I stand out and say you know what, this isn't right, etc. What I like about this book, is that once u start reading you are trapped behind the margins of the pages, or in another way once you start reading, you can never stop reading. This book instantly caches the reader's eye, and makes them dive head first into the ocean of pages. This book completely changed my perspective on how I treat people, and how I look on life. I highly recommend this book, even though it's sort of a long read, it still has a very good message behind the ink on the papers. Beals did a great job capturing the essence of when she was younger, and although it may seem like old history, she still was able to really get your focus on the book and tell the story of her life. I bet that every person that reads this will be able to get a positive message from it, whether it is from being able to relate to Melba Beals or whether it's just able just to encourage someone's day. I'm glad I chose this book, even though I randomly choose it for my English Class out of a list of like 100 books, but it has a great meaning and message to get through to the public.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    Sad way to make history

    This book was really good. Definitely read it if you're in the education field. It will give you a different outlook on your students. <BR/>It really shows how brave these students were to get a message across. Not only is it sad to read about the events and how nobody was stopping the abuse, but it's also a shame that events like these had to happen to young people in order to make history.<BR/>Really great book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    A Great Find

    Finally, a book that uncovers the truth! My eighth grade humanities (reading) class read this as part of our curriculum, and it was the most exciting, terrifying, tear-jerking book we had ever read our class! Warriors Don't Cry was fabulously written, and makes you really think. Told in a first person point of view, Melba's story is a true one about the Little Rock Nine and integration. If you enjoy learning about history, or if you just want a good book, head to your local library and check out Warriors Don't Cry. You will thank me for the tip!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2006

    Really recommended.

    Warriors don¿t cry by: Melba Pattillo Beals is about a girl who (is Native American) is sent to a school called Little Rock Central high with all Caucasoid people along with other Native Americans. She has some strong difficulties with the Caucasoid student. They have tried to get rid of her by beating her up. There was one time where I almost started to cry was when she was going to the restroom four Caucasoid girls looked over the stall without her knowing and while she was using the restroom all of a sudden she felt some tissue with fire on her fell in her hair. The girls were laughing and then she got one of her text book through it at one of the girls and all the girls started to run away. Melba Pattillo Beals is the main character and one of my favorite characters. My favorite part of the story is a very sad part of the book. Melba was walking home from school when all of a sudden there was a Caucasoid man who was following Melba. After awhile he started running after her. He striped her, and she fell. The man took of his pants and was going to try to rap her. She was afraid and tried to get up, but he wouldn¿t let her. A girl named Marissa who teased Melba tried to help Melba by hitting the guy on the head. Melba got up and they both started to run away from this guy. She told her grandma and well I don¿t want to spoil it so you guys will just have to read the book your selves. I really do recommend Warriors Don¿t Cry to those who love reading challenging books, and fictions books. I really do like this book because it is very interesting. I also like it because it is a fiction book and I love true stories. If you don¿t like reading like me it is time to start reading books. This book is real interesting, and you wouldn¿t be disappointed. I say this book is a five star book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2006

    THIS BOOK CHANGED ME

    THIS BOOK WAS VERY WELL WRITTEN AND I LOVED IT. I REALLY COULD FEEL MELBAS EMOTIONS AS SHE WALKED INTO THE SCHOOL. IN SOME PARTS OF THE STORY I WANTED TO CRY. THE AUTHOR REALLY MADE YOU FELL AS IF YOU WERE THERE. I BELIEVE EVERYONE NO MATTER WHAT AGE YOU ARE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT WILL CHANGE YOUR WHOLE PERSPECTIVE ON INTERGRATION IN THE SOUTH.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2000

    A Compelling True Drama

    I feel that this book gave me true insight to the horrors of prejudice that have been and still are present in American life. Reading about the author's struggles gave me more courage for my own struggles. She has endured more than I can imagine and has performed a great service by writing her experience for others to learn from.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2000

    A Very Compelling Story

    This book has made me feel very angry and it has made me cry as well. It is truly a fantastic book. I could not put it down from the minute I started reading it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    The memoir Warriors Don┬┐t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals is the sto

    The memoir Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals is the story about the battle Melba had to face in high school. Melba was one of nine African Americans who integrated Little Rock’s Central High School. I really liked this book because it showed the struggles of African Americans back in the 1950s, and it also shows how much Caucasians didn’t want change. If I had to pick one thing I didn’t like about the book, it would have to be that she was treated so cruelly. When I read about what Caucasians did to African Americans, I get ashamed of my race. People would scream at Melba and the eight other students as they walked into school. This book truly shows the ways of the citizens in the Southern part of the United States. I encourage everyone to read this fabulous book. 

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  • Posted April 6, 2014

    Warriors Don't Cry is about a girl called Melba Beals who was on

    Warriors Don't Cry is about a girl called Melba Beals who was one of the Little Rock Nine. She signed up to be one of the first black people to go to an all white school. The story is written from the first person perspective. It tells how she survived and what she and her friends had to go through. It made me upset when she explained how the white people treated the black people. It was also upsetting to thing that people would treat other people like that.

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    A fantastic well written book. Ms. Beals did very well expressin

    A fantastic well written book. Ms. Beals did very well expressing the emotion of interrogating Little Rock Central High School. Her thoughts as well as her diary entries convey what it was really like for her. I found this book very inspiring as well. Her attitude to not give up is what got her through that school. Instead of retaliation which she sometimes wanted to do, she controlled herself. Doing this paid off and she was staring to make some friends instead of enemies. How she handled things taught me that there is more than wanting all your classmates to like you. Instead she stressed on getting a good education to help her in her lifetime. I thought about my future while I was reading this book. I know I can do well, if she could with death threats. I hope you enjoyed this book as much as I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Finding the strength to become a warrior

    In her novel, Warriors Don't Cry, a story about her teenage years, Melba Pattillo Beals depicts how her life was changed when she was chosen to be one of nine students to integrate Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. She, along with eight others, became known as the Little Rock Nine. Melba was treated poorly every single day she attended school. She dealt with continuous death threats, fireball attacks, and immoral police. Although most of Melba's teenage experiences were taken away from her during integration (i.e. sweet sixteen party, school plays, and school dances) she was able to emerge as a warrior. Warriors Don't Cry contained the message that in order to be respected one must fight for it and that we should stand up for what is wrong. The major themes in this book were the difficulty of change, as seen during the President's support of integration and Arkansas governor's opposition of it. The governor even went so far as to have the Arkansas Guard stop the Little Rock Nine from entering school. The President then sent a special division, the 101st Guard to help the kids to enter Central High. Other themes outlined in this book are the evils of racism and overcoming fear. Throughout the year in which this story takes place, Melba constantly fears for her life and what the next day will hold for her, but she prays to God and learns how to deal with the mobs. What I really liked about this book was that it was well written. The story was easy to follow and was written almost like a fiction book, because of all the details. I also liked the use of her actual diary entries and the newspaper headlines that Beals included in her novel. They added another level of reality to the story. One thing that I didn't like about this book was that it got a little repetitive and toward the end of the book I got bored and wanted the book to be over. I think everyone should read this book because there is so much truth to it and that for me is why I enjoyed it so much. Also, I think that one should read this book because the way Melba was treated was wrong and to get a glimpse of what happened from someone who experienced it first hand is very interesting. Anyone who has experienced adversity at some point will relate to all the hardships that Melba dealt with and find inspiration from the few people who gave her hope.

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    Looking Through a New Set of Eyes-

    I would recommend this book to anyone. It's fairly easy to read, and totally enthralling. Melba Patillo Beals Warriors Don't Cry is a perspective changing memoir. Being a white girl, and growing up in a time when racism is minimal compared to the 1957 high school integration act, I never really understood all that the average black girl had to go through everyday, let alone what the people making a difference had to suffer through. For her junior year of high school Melba, along with five other black children, varying in age, all signed up and integrated Little Rock, Arkansas's Central High. Throughout the year these children suffer immense peer pressure as well as threats and acts of violence from people inside and outside of their small black community. I personally fell in love with this book. Admittedly the beginning of the book was not particularly interesting. I found myself confused about many things, but as the book progressed things were explained. My favorite characters were Link and Danny. I think she should have married Link, but that's just my fairytale book perspective. I liked the way the author combined both teenager perspective and the adult looking back on this experience. I found the sacrifice, the pathos, and the struggle of the story to be incredible. It pulled me in. I didn't expect to enjoy this book, nonfiction is not my typical genre, but I found myself wanting to know more.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Very Good Insight Into Her Struggle

    I was required to read this book for my AP US History class and when I got the assignment I wasn't pleased. I procrastinated under finally boredom made me pick up the book. I was instantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The struggles that Beals went through as well as the other students is amazing. Her family was truly amazing and after finishing this book I was glad that I had taken the initiative to read it. Although this doesn't fit my normal genre of reading I would recommend it to anyone. My only quarrel with the novel was that it is very repetitive in some parts although I believe she uses this to emphasize what she went through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2007

    reading is a necessity

    How could this book not break your heart? The detail.. the frustration.. the hope. Beals does a wonderful job bringing her story to life for her readers. I can't imagine the pain and self preservation these people experienced throughout their lives, but the author does a good job at sharing that point of view. It was well-written and easy-to-follow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2006

    this book iz aight

    The book was really interesting and i like to read thiz book again!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    review

    A girl named Melba had been wanting to go to Central High, an all white public school. She was not allowed to go there because of her being colored, since the high school does not integrate. The time frame was 1957 in which segregation between colors are highly supported. Little Rock, Arkansas is the name of the place where this occurred. Even the governor of Arkansas opposed the order that was given. It took a while for her and her eight other friends to get into Central High because a crowd of angry segregationist does not want to integrate. One of the things that I liked about the book is that it did happen and it is real. something that i disliked is that it gets boring. The author spoke of too much details and kept talking about how frustrated everyone is over and over again. The author did not complete some details that I myself cannot imagine the she is describing. Another reason why I disliked the story is that it skips through from one thing to another. Sometimes it even sticks on one topic and skips to something I don't even have a clue what it is talking about. One other thing that I disliked is that I know it is a true story, but how it is told it is like it did not even happen because it is easy not to believe because it does not converse to the prospects of some readers like me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2003

    not a good book but a GREAT one!

    this book was just simply perfection, it truely captured the true essance of the civil rights image. This book let others outside of the African American race know that it really was that bad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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