The Story of Ruby Bridges

The Story of Ruby Bridges

4.4 12
by Robert Coles, George Ford

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This is the true story of an extraordinary 6-year-old who helped shape history when she became the first African-American sent to first grade in an all white school. This moving book captures the courage of a little girl standing alone in the face of racism.


This is the true story of an extraordinary 6-year-old who helped shape history when she became the first African-American sent to first grade in an all white school. This moving book captures the courage of a little girl standing alone in the face of racism.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ruby Bridges was the sole African American child to attend a New Orleans elementary school after court-ordered desegregation in 1960. Noted research psychiatrist Coles tells how federal marshals escorted the intrepid six-year-old past angry crowds of white protestors thronging the school. Parents of the white students kept them home, and so Ruby "began learning how to read and write in an empty classroom, an empty building." Although there are disappointingly few words from Ruby herself, Coles's use of quotes from her teacher adds to the story's poignancy ("Sometimes I'd look at her and wonder how she did it.... How she went by those mobs and sat here all by herself and yet seemed so relaxed and comfortable"). The story has a rather abrupt ending; the concluding page reprints the prayer that Ruby said daily, asking God to forgive the protesters. Coles cursorily finishes the tale of Ruby's unsettling year in an afterword (two boys and then the rest of the students returned to school; the mobs dispersed by the time Ruby entered second grade). Ford (Bright Eyes, Brown Skin; Paul Robeson) contributes affecting watercolors that play up Ruby's moral courage. Ages 5-9. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Ruby Bridges was six years old when she was chosen to be one of the first black children to enter the New Orleans school system. She became a focus for racial hatred and bitterness, but nothing could stop her from daily uttering a prayer of forgiveness for those who surrounded her with words of ill will.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This story tugs at our conscience as we read of 6-year-old Ruby who was the first black child to integrate an all white school in New Orleans in 1960. What hurdles she had to overcome as she faced mobs of angry whites hurling insults as she walked to school each day with the federal marshals. Maintaining dignity and courage throughout this ordeal, she set an example that will be remembered for all time. Touching illustrations portray the times and loneliness of Ruby. Update on Ruby: she is currently the parent coordinator at the same school she integrated!
Hazel Rochman
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. Ruby Bridges did it every day for weeks that turned into months. The white parents withdrew their kids, and Ruby sat alone with her teacher in an empty classroom in an empty building and learned her lessons. Harvard professor Cole has written powerful adult books about children in crisis and about children's moral and political lives. Here he tells one girl's heroic story, part of the history of ordinary people who have changed the world. He tells it quietly, as an adult, and the simplicity is moving, though kids might want some indication of Ruby's personal experience, what it was like to be her. Ford's moving watercolor paintings mixed with acrylic ink are predominantly in sepia shades of brown and red. They capture the physical warmth of Ruby's family and community, the immense powers against her, and her shining inner strength.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
AD730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for volumes two and three of the five-volume work CHILDREN IN CRISIS, Robert Coles is the author of many distinguished books for adults. A research psychiatrist at Harvard University, Dr. Coles lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.

George Ford has illustrated many acclaimed books for children, including RAY CHARLES by Sharon Bell Mathis, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, and PAUL ROBESON by Eloise Greenfield, winner of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. Mr. Ford lives with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn, New York.

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The Story of Ruby Bridges 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very educational book. I have used it both in my everyday classroom and in my Sunday school class. When paired with Norman Rockwell's “The Problem We All Live With," it becomes a very moving lesson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 8 year old granddaughter reslly wanted this book for her birthday. I tink she learned about secregation and predjudice in school and it interested her. I ordered it on line and when it arrived by mail, I red it and its a really good book for children to read.
AnncarterEH More than 1 year ago
This is a amazing book! Very touching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greenish More than 1 year ago
This book is great for African American History month readings, making connections to history, and developing critical thinking skills.
PhilD More than 1 year ago
Ruby Bridges was an amazing little girl. With all the issues she had to overcome on a daily basis and still have a positive attitude is just incredible. When thinking back to the 1950's, life was hard enough just being a young African American girl, when adding the pressure of being the first enrolled into an all white school must have been overwhelming. When you read about Ruby and see the way she handles all the negative comments and aggressive behavior it's inspiring to everyone. I read this book to my seven year old son and he mush have had fifty comments and questions about Ruby. This is a great and inspiring book for all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I presented this book for a Children Literature class. This book is so powerful. It is amazing what young African-Americans had to go through just to get the basics in life - like going to a public school!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has interesting quotes and wonderful pictures, but the story line didn't quite capture things in full detail. Like how hard it must have been to walk through those crowds and be only six years old. Again, quotes = great, content and detail = not so great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I went on to this site my kid wanted to read the discription so I read it to her and then she told me to buy it and when I did It got to my house very soon...
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Story Of Ruby Bridges was an exceptional book. It amazes me how a 6 year old little girl can be so courageous and strong. She kept going to school even though all of her classmates stopped coming. That definetly shows that her and her family knew what was most important. That being Ruby getting her education. I loved when she stopped in front of the crowd that was taunting her and began to pray for them. It takes alot to pray for those to have hurt you and she had no problem doing that. I also think it gives kids a good outlook on how things use to be and how they should treat others as they want to be treated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ruby Bridges was an amazing person from heaven. She really had to have a lot of courage to go into that all white school. Leaving all your friends. Having people yell nasty things at you.