By Simone T. Ribke
(Scholastic, Inc., 2015, New York, Library Binding $23, Paperback $5.95)
Parents of all backgrounds often struggle to explain racism and segregation to their children. Simone T. Ribke’s Ruby Bridges allows parents and educators to introduce these sensitive subjects to beginning readers. Part of Scholastic’s Rookie Biographies series, the book helps children develop reading schools even as they learn about an important figure in the Civil Rights movement.
In very simple prose, Ribke tells the story of Ruby Bridges, who, at six, became the first African-American student to attend an otherwise white elementary school in Louisiana. To put Ruby’s experiences in context, Ribke also provides basic facts about segregation. Photos, a timeline, glossary, poem, and Fast Facts also help bring Ruby’s world to life.
Ruby Bridges became a Civil Rights pioneer when she was six – the approximate age of the students who will read this book. As such, she makes a compelling and admirable subject – and an excellent way for children to start learning about the Civil Rights movement.
-Dorothy A. Dahm