What happened on the first day the Nine were supposed to go to Central? What happened to Melba and her mom?
To find the answers to this question, you need to look at the very first page of the book.
On the first day that the nine kids were supposed to go and integrate Central High School in Little Rock, the governor of Arkansas (a man named Orval Faubus) sent the National Guard out to prevent the black kids from going to school with the white kids.
On that day, Melba (who is the author of this book) and her mom got separated from the other black kids. She says they "narrowly escaped" a lynch mob.