English Book Written
1957 when the government passed the law where black students could attend a high school for white people
9 black students were chosen to attend Little Rock Central High School for the first time ever
Melba Pattillo was scared to attend because she knew that no one would accept her and she thought there would be a chance she would die or be attacked by white students
The government sent police and the Guard to the school to ensure the safety of all students and so there would be no fights that would break out
Structure of novel
– Melba- Main character
– Grandma India- Grandmother of Melba
– Link- White friend of Melba
– Conrad Pattillo- younger brother of Melba
– Lois Pattillo- Melba’s mother
– Will Pattillo- Melba’s father
– Kelli Beals- Melba’s daughter
– Virgil Blossom- superintendent of Little Rock schools
– Minnijean Brown- closest friend to Melba. Got expelled for “fighting” a white student
– Vince- Melba’s boyfriend
Setting– The setting took place in Little Rock Central High School which was a white school and 9 black kids integrated into the school for the first time ever after it was legal for them to attend finally.
Rising Action– Melba’s first couple days of school were very hard. There were many things said about her behind her back and to her face from the white students who did not want the black students at the school. Melba wanted to go back to her other school because the first couple days were hard, but her grandmother would not let her go back because God placed her in the position she was in for a reason.
Rising Action– When Melba wrote in her journal “I wish I were dead.” Grandma India was very unhappy when she learned that Melba wrote this in her journal. Grandma India says “Melba Pattillo dies by her own hand because she was afraid of facing God’s assignment for her.” This speaks loud for the tone and voice of the book. Grandma India may have come off as harsh when she said this, but she was right to say it because God placed Melba at that school for a specific reason and Melba wanted to go against what God wanted her to do.
Climax– Link becoming friends with Melba. This was a huge point in the book for Melba because Link was a white boy who actually helped Melba and accepted her unlike all the other white people in the school. Link had a nanny who was black and she was ill, but none of the white doctors would attend to her because she was black. Melba brought a black doctor to help Link’s nanny.
Falling Action– Minnijean was suspended for “fighting” with a group of white students at the school. She was attacked verbally mostly by the students and she stood up for herself. Little did she know that she would be suspended for this action that she took. She was later expelled for again standing up for herself against white students who had again attacked her verbally mostly. This was hard for Melba because Minnijean was one of Melba’s best friends at that school.
Falling Action– Melba had to got back to her old school because she stood up for herself against the white students who were trying to hurt her.
Resolution– Melba and the other 8 black students were eventually allowed to go back to Central High School to finish out high school and graduate.
Key understanding about adversity
Melba went through a lot of adversity throughout the book. First she was chosen to integrate into an all white school. Then she had a hard time getting past the hardships that were placed in front of her. She had a strong support system with her Grandmother and with God. Her grandma gave her lots of helpful advice that she needed to take with her every time she left the house. She also helped Melba get through most every bad situation she was put in while she attended Central High.
“Now you see that’s the reason God spared you life. You’re supposed to carry this banner for out people.” Grandma India to Melba. Melba was ill as a young girl (2 days old) but God spared her life speaking through someone at the hospital who was talking to Grandma India.
“You’ll make this your last cry. You’re a warrior on the battlefield for your Lord. God’s warriors don’t cry, ’cause they trust he’s always by their side. The women of this family don’t break down in the face of trouble. We act with courage, and with God’s help, we ship trouble right on out.” Grandma India to Melba. This is when Melba was crying because she was attacked by the mob that was outside of Little Rock Central High School.
“I squared my shoulders and tried to remember what Grandma had said: ‘God loves you child; no matter what, he sees you as his precious idea.'” This was said by Melba and it was a self-reminder that she is capable of anything she puts her mind to and that she has God on her side all the time.
“I wanted to turn and tun away, but I thought about what Danny had said: ‘Warriors Survive.'” This was also said by Melba and again this was a self-reminder that she is capable of anything she wants to be and that she should not give up just because times may be rough.
Reaction and application
Overall I thought that the book was very good and got a good point across. I didn’t realize that white people were always that mean to the black people, but I also didn’t realize that people from the white community would be nice to the people of the black community. I can apply this to my life by showing love to others and not judging people based on what they look like. Portrayed