Review: Ruby Bridges Goes to School

Just one big caveat before using this early reader in a school library or classroom.

Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges.
Scholastic, Cartwheel Books, New York, 2009.
Early reader (Scholastic Level 2) non-fiction with photographs, 30 pages.
Lexile: 410L
AR Level: 2.5 (worth 0.5 points)

This is a nonfiction early reader about the life of Ruby Bridges, written by her. This book covers her historic integration of the William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana, as well as some information about reactions to the integration and her later life (particularly a reunion with her teacher).

It’s not entirely clear whether she wrote an entirely new book or simplified her book In My Eyes for a younger reading audience, however she is attributed with both the text and the photo compilation, so until I read the other book, I’m going to assume these are two separate works.

ruby-bridges-goes-to-school-cropped-resized

Most of the children’s non-fiction books about African-American history tend to be aimed at second grade on up.  There are, of course, many picture books intended to be read aloud by an adult, but most of the basic early readers are predominately white.  This sets up the disturbing standard of the “white default” early in life.

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