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Through My Eyes Hardcover – September 1, 1999


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Through My Eyes + The Story Of Ruby Bridges: Special Anniversary Edition + Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story (Scholastic Reader, Level 2)
Price for all three: $19.01

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 63 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590189239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590189231
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This was a great, interesting book to read.
Melanie Boyd
This story speaks of the courage not only one girl, but an entire family has to fight for what should be rightfully be there's.
Grace Williamson
Read this book and think about that phrase a moment.
Dienne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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. For those of us who were not there it really is difficult to imagine the intensity of the hatred that so many whites felt. It is disturbing to read of the vicious threats made and the horrible venom spewed at this little girl by adults who should have known better.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Plotkin on February 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a heart-wrenching story of a courageous little girl. These pages contain a story that should be included in every classroom library. It is a part of American history we must all be knowledgeable of and never forget. The pictures of this delightful sixyear old are wonderful. At the same time the frightening pictures of the protesters are difficult to look at and deal with the emotions they conjure up. This book is a great way to not only introduce a history lesson but also how segregation still exits today in our schools.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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 grade in New Orleans: the first black student in an all-white school in 1961. Ruby's recollections of that year and her present-day thoughts about her early life are honest and memorable. This book will make for great reading for early adolescents and will be an important addition to classroom and library collections.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 4, 2003
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amy Reeter on 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Parents always try to protect their children from the worst the world has to offer, and Ruby Bridges' parents did too. An African-American child in the deep South, she was nevertheless unaware of the hatred swirling around her, either in Tylertown Mississippi, where she was born in 1954, or in New Orleans, where her family moved in 1958. Her grandparents were all Mississippi sharecroppers, renting the land they worked with a portion of the cotton and other crops they grew, and struggling to live off the rest.

But Ruby spent sheltered summers visiting her grandparents' farms, where she helped to pick and can the beans, cucumbers and other vegetables they grew on two acres reserved to feed the extended family. And at home in New Orleans, her safe and comfortable world of family, jacks, jump rope, tree-climbing, softball--and deep respect for God and her parents--existed entirely on her family's block, only one block away from a white neighborhood.

Then in the summer of 1960, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) contacted Ruby's parents. The Federal court planned to force two white New Orleans schools to admit African-American children. Ruby was one of only a handful of black children who had been tested for admission to these schools, and passed. She was to attend the William Frantz Public School. Her father, Abon Bridges, was opposed to her going; he had fought in a segregated unit in the Korean War, and believed nothing would ever change. Her mother, Lucille, thought otherwise and convinced him to take the risk.

Ruby started the year in her old school while Louisiana Governor Jimmie H. Davis led legislators in Baton Rouge in a fight to preserve segregation.
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