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Through My Eyes [Hardcover]

Ruby Bridges
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1999
In November 1960, all of America watched as a tiny six-year-old black girl, surrounded by federal Marshall's, walked through a mob of screaming segregationists and into her school. An icon of the civil rights movement, Ruby Bridges chronicles each dramatic step of this pivotal event in history.

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Surrounded by federal marshals, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first black student ever at the all-white William Frantz Public School in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 14, 1960. Perhaps never had so much hatred been directed at so perfect a symbol of innocence--which makes it all the more remarkable that her memoir, simple in language and rich in history and sepia-toned photographs, is informed mainly by a sort of bewildered compassion. Throughout, readers will find quotes from newspapers of the time, family members, and teachers; sidebars illustrating how Ruby Bridges pops up in both John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley and a Norman Rockwell painting; and a fascinating update on Bridges's life and civil rights work. A personal, deeply moving historical documentary about a staggeringly courageous little girl at the center of events that already seem unbelievable. (Ages 6 and older) --Richard Farr

From Publishers Weekly

With Robert Coles's 1995 picture book, The Story of Ruby Bridges, and a Disney television movie, readers may feel they already know all about Bridges, who in 1960 was the first black child to attend a New Orleans public elementary school. But the account she gives here is freshly riveting. With heartbreaking understatement, she gives voice to her six-year-old self. Escorted on her first day by U.S. marshals, young Ruby was met by throngs of virulent protesters ("I thought maybe it was Mardi Gras... Mardi Gras was always noisy," she remembers). Her prose stays unnervingly true to the perspective of a child: "The policeman at the door and the crowd behind us made me think this was an important place. It must be college, I thought to myself." Inside, conditions were just as strange, if not as threatening. Ruby was kept in her own classroom, receiving one-on-one instruction from teacher Barbara Henry, a recent transplant from Boston. Sidebars containing statements from Henry and Bridges's mother, or excerpts from newspaper accounts and John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, provide information and perspectives unavailable to Bridges as a child. As the year went on, Henry accidentally discovered the presence of other first graders, and she had to force the principal to send them into her classroom for part of the day (the principal refused to make the other white teachers educate a black child). Ironically, it was only when one of these children refused to play with Ruby ("My mama said not to because you're a nigger") that Ruby realized that "everything had happened because I was black.... It was all about the color of my skin." Sepia-toned period photographs join the sidebars in rounding out Bridges's account. But Bridges's words, recalling a child's innocence and trust, are more vivid than even the best of the photos. Like poetry or prayer, they melt the heart. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I'd not read such a well-written book about the racism of the 60s for children, until now. Prefaced by Harry Belafonte, the book is remarkable on a number of levels. Off the bat, it is written particularly well for small children. The style is clear and concise without being patronizing. Large full pictures of the people and events of the time are placed on each and every page. While these photographs are effective, they are not violent or frightening in a visceral way. The pictures of racists yelling at Ruby and other black children are images that stand on their own. At the bottom of most pages are quotes from some of the major players of the time. A quote from Ruby's mother explains that she was unaware that Ruby would be the only black child attending her school. Another notes that standardized tests given to black children were biased in favor of white middle-class children with the hopes of failing the black. The story has a clear linear feel to it and children reading it will recognize the characters. Ruby herself is a remarkable child, her photographs becoming the most powerful in the book. It is made clear to the reader that Ruby was just like any other child you might meet. This thought is expressed more fully in the back, where a Ruby B. jump-rope rhyme has been written. The repeated phrase "Ruby B., Ruby B., You were a little girl just like me", drills the thought home. All in all, the book is wonderful. I recommend it to any parent, teacher, or librarian struggling to explain the civil rights movement to their kids.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom Feb. 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Freedom
Though my eyes
By Ruby Bridges

This book is about a true story of a pivotal event in history as Ruby Bridges saw it unfold around her. It is also about a black six year old girl.
An exciting/interesting part is when Ruby Bridges talks at the end of the book and says "I know that experience comes to us for a purpose, and if we follow the guidance of the sprit with us, we will proubly find that the purpose is a good one."
If you like reading about nonfiction books then this is the book for you.
When I read this book I always give it a thumbs up!
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4.0 out of 5 stars History comes alive through the eyes of a child Jan. 22 2003
Format:Hardcover
How does it feel to be the first to lead the way to new beginnings in history?
6-year-old Ruby Bridges was the first black child to enroll in a white elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana. On November 14, 1960 Ruby walked into the school with her mother and four U.S. Marshals. The other families pulled their white children out of the school. So Ruby was left alone with her teacher, Mrs. Henry, inside their big classroom. This was the beginning of school integration.
How must this little first grader feel with so many adults yelling horrible things at her? One woman even threatened to poison her. People held a small coffin with a black doll inside to scare her. People threatened her neighborhood ´¿ and her father lost his job. This is brave little Ruby´¿s astounding story.
(p. 20) When we left school that first day, the crowd outside was even bigger and louder than it had been in the morning. I guess the police couldn´¿t keep them behind the barricades. It seemed to take us a long time to get to the marshals´¿ car.
Groups of high school boys, joining the protestors, paraded up and down the street and sang new verses to old hymns. Their favorite was ´¿Battle Hymn of the Republic,´¿ in which they changed the chorus to ´¿Glory, glory, segregation, the South will rise again.´¿ Many of the boys carried signs and said awful things, but most of all I remember seeing a black doll in a coffin, which frightened me more than anything else.
After the first day, I was glad to get home. That afternoon, I taught a friend the chant I had learned: ´¿Two, four, six, eight, we don´¿t want to integrate.´¿ My friend and I didn´¿t know what the words meant, but we would jump rope to it every day after school.
Would the chaos ever end? Would the other children return to school?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book April 3 2002
Format:Hardcover
This book was great; it was about Ruby Briggs experience being one of the first colored children to integrate the elementary schools in the south. It gives a wonderful perspective about how this young girl viewed racism. It also shows the reader that she did not completely understand why some many people were mean to her. It is an extreme eye opener to how strong racism was in the south, at one point it talks about grown women throwing and yelling at Ruby.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book April 3 2002
Format:Hardcover
This book was great; it was about Ruby Briggs experience being one of the first colored children to integrate the elementary schools in the south. It gives a wonderful perspective about how this young girl viewed racism. It also shows the reader that she did not completely understand why some many people were mean to her. It is an extreme eye opener to how strong racism was in the south, at one point it talks about grown women throwing and yelling at Ruby.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read it for the discussion it provokes March 13 2002
Format:Hardcover
I began reading this book out loud to my 10-year-old because I recognized it as a book that he would not pick up on his own. It was the perfect thing to do because there were all sorts of terms like "segregation" and "racism" that he needed me to explain. But more importantly, he had all sorts of comments and questions about the ignorance and hatred depicted in this true that were worthy of discussion . . . some of which were predictable, some were not. He ended up finishing the book on his own because it is such an engaging story.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Courage
Parents always try to protect their children from the worst the world has to offer, and Ruby Bridges' parents did too. Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2002 by Alyssa A. Lappen
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
I was at a book fair, and I saw this book. I thought it was a book about segragation so I thought that it would be a great addition to my classroom library because I don't have... Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Through My Eyes Rating
I like this book because it show s how things were when people didn't like colored people. And how Ruby's mom was brave enough to let her daught go to a white school. Read more
Published on June 13 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars An important story!
This is a heart-wrenching story of a courageous little girl. These pages contain a story that should be included in every classroom library. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2000 by Lynn Plotkin
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for everyone
This book is another reminder of the battles waged and obstacles faced by ordinary people during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, inspirational and edifying.
A wonderful way to introduce younger children to and inform older children about an important part of the civil rights movement. Read more
Published on Sept. 16 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving history in photos and in Ruby's own words.
A beautiful, moving book that captures the intensity of the south in the early 1960's. Sepia photos and Ruby's own words enable the reader to walk with her as she enters first... Read more
Published on Aug. 17 1999
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