Children's Lit Book Reviews

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Story of Ruby Bridges
By: Robert Coles
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Copyright: 1995
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture book
"Sustained by family and faith, one brave six-year-old child found the strength to walk alone through howling protesters and enter a whites-only school in New Orleans in 1960."
Summary: Six-year-old Ruby Bridges is the first black child to attend an all white elementary school during the civil rights movement and desegregation in New Orleans in 1960. This book recounts Ruby’s move from Mississippi to New Orleans at her young age, their hard working family, and their faith in God. It explains that, at the time, black children and white children went to separate schools which was against the law. A judge ordered the schools to be desegregated, and Ruby was one of the first chosen to make this happen. Angry crowds gathered for her first day of school, pulled their own children out of class, and continued to do so for months. Ruby was all alone in school. Her teacher, Miss Hurley, recounts that Ruby was a wonderful child, eager to learn, but also lonely. The book ends with Ruby uttering a prayer among the crowd which was, "Please, God, try to forgive those people. Because even if they say those bad things, they don’t know what they’re doing. So, You could forgive them, Just like You did those folks a long time ago When they said terrible things about You. "
Who would benefit from reading this book? Everyone would benefit from reading this book. Its a book about racial differences and how one little girl some how worked up the energy and strength to endure it. It's inspiring to everyone and will captivate its readers. This short story will be a great teaching resource for black history month in elementary schools and will teach children the importance of racial unity.
What problems/concerns could this book potentially cause? Unless your are a racist, I don't think that this book would cause any problems. The book was written to address a problem and a concern within society.
My reaction: This is a great little picture book that helps show the importance of recognizing differences and what a little girl did to overcome it. I loved the illustrations of this book, and I think it helped me imagine more of what it would be like to walk in Ruby's footsteps. I recommend this book to all readers of all ages.
posted by Jon Dale at 11:22 PM


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