Melba Beals

Noted journalist and civil rights icon Melba Pattillo Beals first shared her experience of being one of the Little Rock Nine in her best-selling 2011 memoir, Warriors Don’t Cry. And now, the Congressional Gold Medal recipient is set to do it again in a memoir aimed at middle grade readers, EW can announce exclusively.

The book, which is titled March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine, will feature stories from Beals’s childhood growing up in the Jim Crow South, as well as her inner struggle to understand laws that dictated her worth based on the color of her skin. The memoir will be illustrated with Beals’s personal photographs and will serve as a prequel to her earlier book, Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High.

Beals, along with Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark, and Thelma Mothershed, is one of the nine African-American students who enrolled in and attended Little Rock Central High School in 1957, in an effort to integrate the school.

March Forward, Girl will hit bookshelves on Jan. 2, 2018.