Ruby Bridges

( 1 )


True or False? When Ruby Bridges went to first grade in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 14, 1960, she made history. True! Ruby Bridges was the first African American student to attend William Frantz Public School. Angry mobs tried to stop her. But U.S. marshals kept her safe.

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True or False? When Ruby Bridges went to first grade in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 14, 1960, she made history. True! Ruby Bridges was the first African American student to attend William Frantz Public School. Angry mobs tried to stop her. But U.S. marshals kept her safe.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy DaPolito
In November 1960, Ruby Bridges started first grade at William Frantz Public School in New Orleans. What set Ruby apart was the fact that she was the first and only African-American student in the school. The text goes on to give information about Ruby's family and about segregation in the South. In the second chapter, the reader learns that the NAACP encouraged Ruby's parents to send her to William Frantz. On Ruby's first day, US Marshals protected her, and the parents of most of the white children immediately removed them from the school. On her second day, she was the only student in a classroom with Barbara Henry, a white teacher from Massachusetts who loved her for her bravery and her intelligence. During that first year, Ruby's father lost his job and her grandparents were put off the land they farmed, but other people stepped in and helped out. By the end of the year, a few white children had returned to the school, and in second grade Ruby was no longer in a classroom by herself. By the time she graduated from William Frantz in 1966, most of the schools in the South were integrated. Ruby went on to graduate from high school and become a travel agent. When she visited William Frantz in 1993, she found that it was now an all-black school with a weak library and no after-school activities, so she worked with parents and the community to improve the school. In 1999, after Dr. Robert Coles, a psychiatrist who helped her in first grade published a picture book called The Story of Ruby Bridges, he and Ruby set up the Ruby Bridges Foundation with the profits. Ruby now travels for the foundation, bringing together children of different backgrounds in an effort to end racism. Currently,she is also working to rebuild schools in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The book is well illustrated with both color and black-and-white photographs. A timeline; a photo and description of the Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby on her way to school between three U.S. marshals; lists of further reading, websites and DVD's; a bibliography; and an index follow the text. The book is part of the "History Maker Bios" series. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—The oft-told history of the first African-American student to attend a newly integrated elementary school in New Orleans, LA, in 1960, gets a fresh dose of facts. Rather than exclusively cover the best-known aspects of Bridges's story, Donaldson adds scope by including what happened before and after the girl's fateful first-grade year. Information on her time at William Frantz Public School, the repercussions of her attendance on her family, and her resurgence as an advocate not only for civil rights, but also for the New Orleans schools, especially after Hurricane Katrina, adds depth and resonance. However, while the author explains that Ruby was the first African-American student to integrate a school in Louisiana, she does not make it clear that the child was the first to integrate an elementary school in the entire South. This omission diminishes the historical significance of Bridges's brave act. Primary-source black-and-white and color photographs (and a picture drawn by first-grader Ruby) with clear, concise captions add gravity and reality to the story, and the illustrations that begin each chapter give the pages more appeal. A lovely section at the conclusion of the book provides an anecdote about Norman Rockwell's The Problem We All Live With, a painting of the young student.—Nicole Waskie, Chenango Forks Elementary, Binghamton, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761342205
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Series: History Maker Biographies Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 319,572
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Madeline Donaldson is a writer and editor of children's books. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 5

1 The Way Things Were 6

2 Small Girl, Big Job 12

3 First Grade 19

4 Growing Up 29

5 Facing Forward 36

Timeline 44

The Problem We All Live With 45

Further Reading 46

Websites and DVD 46

Select Bibliography 47

Index 48

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    Great Book. My daughter who is in 5th Grade had to do a book report on someone famous. She learned a lot from this book and how much courage a six year old had to make great changes. It is very informative and well written.

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