Through my eyes

by Ruby Bridges

Paper Book, 1999



Local notes

921 Bri



New York : Scholastic Press, 1999.


Ruby Bridges recounts the story of her involvement, as a six-year-old, in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960.

Physical description

63 p.; 28 cm


0590189239 / 9780590189231



User reviews

LibraryThing member PeterSinclair
Ruby was one of the first African American's to enter the halls of an integrated public school. This story is so poignantly sad because of the way mothers, teenagers and adults responded to integration. The insults and threats that were presented to a small child are physically sickening. Ruby Bridges is a book about faith. Her mother was so strong to send her in the midst of much turmoil. Her father was right to have fear for his daughter and his family. I don't know if I would have sent my daughter into that kind of fire. Ruby Bridges perserverence and telling of her story is very important in our society today. Racism is like a disease, but I think this book can be a cure.… (more)
LibraryThing member mwflood
One of the hardest children books I have ever read. The difficulty was fathoming that what I was reading was historical fact. I was really touched by this powerful six year old girl who had to desegregate a white only school all by herself. It was such a wonderful book on adversity being triumphed by a child who actually had little knowledge the impact her actions were having on her country.

I would definitely use this book to teach middle readers about the difficulties that were faced during the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's or 20th Century American History.
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LibraryThing member AllisonBates
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
1. This nonfiction work is written as a narrative from Ruby Bridges’ personal perspective about the struggles she endured in New Orleans as one of the first black children to be integrated in Louisiana. Ruby discusses not only her personal experience, but how it relates to the greater issues of civil rights ensuing in both her state and nation. Sometimes Ruby’s understanding of issues as a first grader are vague in comparison to the reality of what was actually going on, but these understandings are what eventually shape her as she grew to womanhood. Also, from that adult mindset Rudy looks back to explain how and why she felt the way she did about things she did not quite comprehend at the time. Actual pictures, quotes from other people involved in Ruby’s situation, and clips from magazines enhance the story to bring the actual history to a vivid reality.
2. As a nonfiction book, this could couple just about any unit on civil rights. Students could compare the difference between Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry and Through my Eyes to discuss how the times in the South did or did not change between these two time periods. How are Civil Rights progressing or not progressing? Also, students could do mini research activities on other people mentioned or quoted in the book, such as John Steinbeck, Thurgood Marshall, and various presidents. How did all of these people combined working for a single goal make a difference? If one of them decided to back down how would it have been for Ruby? Show students the Norman Rockwell painting. How is the Ruby depicted here different for the same as the Ruby that she herself describes in Through my Eyes?
3. This book, though written as a true account, is very easy to become entranced with. The fact that such a story actually happened gives the reader even more incentive to keep reading. As Ruby tells her own story as a narrative ( instead of just a historical description that students are used to), the impact and significance of what happened to her becomes so much more pertinent. This is not a picture of a black girl walking to school with a blurb; it is a personal reflection of the emotions, pressures, and consequences of everything that her entire first grade year produced. Ruby Bridges makes an accurate historical event come alive, and the fact that she lived it and can attest to the personal effects of it makes the story even more amazing.
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LibraryThing member katie.flanigan
I loved this book. Through My Eyes tells a great story based on history that is touching. This book tells a lot of background information about the historical time which supports the story. I think young readers who like history would love this book.
LibraryThing member jdieder104
Brave family to put their child in such a difficult situation. The family had tobear a lot of injustice for justice. Thankful there are families that would stand up for what is right.
LibraryThing member nbmars
Through My Eyes tells the story of the forced integration of white schools in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960. Citizens and officials alike had defied federal orders to integrate arising from the seminal 1954 court case, Brown vs. The Board of Education. In 1956, 101 politicians in Congress (99 Democrats and 2 Republicans) issued a document called "The Southern Manifesto," opposing the findings of the Brown decision. (Manifesto signers were from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.) The Southern Manifesto accused the Supreme Court of "clear abuse of judicial power." It further promised to use "all lawful means to bring about a reversal of this decision which is contrary to the Constitution and to prevent the use of force in its implementation." A federal court, however, finally ruled that New Orleans must integrate, beginning with the first grade. Thus in 1960, Ruby Bridges started school at William Frantz Elementary. Three other black children went to McDonogh Elementary. Ruby was alone at William Frantz.

Federal Marshals were required to escort Ruby safely to and from school and to guide her through the mobs of protestors. Whites pulled their children out of the school, and Ruby became the only pupil in her class supervised by a brave teacher from the North, Barbara Henry.

Daily mobs gathered and protesters hurled threats and racial epithets. Eventually, however, some of the whites started to return to the school, though Ruby was still kept apart from them. For the second grade, Ruby was able to be part of classroom full of students, including some other blacks.

Ironically, years later, through residential segregation, Frantz Elementary again became segregated, although now it is a "black" school rather than a "white" school.

Back in 1960, Yale legal scholar Charles Black (and one of the architects of the Brown court case) posed the question: "does segregation offend against equality?" He answered:

“…if a whole race of people finds itself confined within a system which is set up and continued for the very purpose of keeping it in an inferior station, and if the question is then solemnly propounded whether such a race is being treated 'equally,' I think we ought to exercise one of the sovereign prerogatives of philosophers - that of laughter.”

Ruby has devoted her adult life to telling her story in the hope that inner city schools can metamorphose into the learning centers they were meant to be when whites attended them. Her bravery as a little six-year-old girl has inspired people across the country.

Evaluation: Although this wonderful compendium of text and photographs is suggested for ages 8-10, I would change that to 8 and up. My husband and I both found it riveting and powerful. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member Brooke28
This book gives students a chance to see the Civil Rights movement through the eyes of a child. It gives factual information in an interesting way.
LibraryThing member netaylor
Through My Eyes tells the story of Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old black girl in New Orleans, Louisiana, who helped integrate public schools. Her unknowingly brave steps through a jeering, racist, white crowd on her way to a public school, the loneliness of being the only black student and the only student at the Frantz Elementary School, the courage of Bridges’ family, and the kindness of her teacher, is told brilliantly in the voice of Bridges. She invites the reader to sit beside her while she remembers the events in her life. It is as though Bridges is working her way through a scrapbook with the reader, looking through pictures that spark memories.… (more)
LibraryThing member aimtroyer
This is a good example of an autobiography that is easy to understand. It has quotes from various family members, newspaper clips, and her teachers talk about her. The pictures were chosen well and go along with the story so kids can see an accurate visual to match what is being discussed.
LibraryThing member judychadwick
This book is written by Ruby Bridges and tells of her experiences with integration. There are sections written by others who took part in that very important part of American history. There are many pictures and newspaper articles from that time as well.
LibraryThing member MandyMichelle
6 year old Rudy Bridges was in the middle of segregation when she was in school. She was a little black girl who wanted to learn and be in school, although the white parents did not want their children in a school with black. It talks about her trials she went through, but ended up staying in the classroom and learning.

I really enjoyed this book because it made me think of how children felt during the Civil War and segregation.

I would use this when talking about the Civil War and how children felt back then. I would also use this when dealing with students who fight over things and have them read this book together and see how Rudy felt when she was in the middle of all the fighting that was going on.
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LibraryThing member ktibbs
This is a wonderful book told from the first person point of view of Ruby Bridges herself, the first girl to integrate into a white school. The power of this book is that it is written in Ruby's own words with her own memories, most of which are very innocent and misunderstanding of what is going on around her. The book has excellent real photographs of the events as well.… (more)
LibraryThing member ilovezeppe
Story told from the perspective of Ruby Bridges life through school integration. Ruby's story is truly valuable and heart wrenching. Beautiful pictures throughout the book.
LibraryThing member CarolyneBegin
This is a great book about Ruby Bridges, one of the first children to be integrated into the public school system in Louisiana. As we all know public schools in the past were segregated by race. In the 1960s a law was passed and children, starting with the lower grades, were integrated into public schools. This caused an uproar in the communities and it was often taken out on the children and their families. Ruby was one of the first children to be integrated and this book tells her story as a 5 year old simply trying to go to school.
I really enjoyed ready this from Ruby's perspective. Her memories of events brings a unique view to her story and really shows the impact of our actions. Her family went through so much in order to be strong and guide her through this and they all had a hard time.
I was amazed at her courage and at the ignorance of the people around her. I cannot believe that these events happened so late in this countries history. It is appalling and I could go on and on but I really enjoyed this book and the bit of perspective that it gave me on these events. I am glad that people like Ruby and her family stood up for their rights and continue to do so. I think this would be a very important book to read in a classroom.
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LibraryThing member jaimefabey
Ruby Bridges tells her tale of beginning school as a black 6 year old joining a white school and the experience through her child eyes at the time. She uses facts, her experience and pictures from the time to give the story of desegregation in the 1960's.
LibraryThing member kikione
This is the story of a brave little girl that pioneered integration in a whites only school in the south. Students will learn about prejudice and segregation and then through the eyes of this little girl, they will see what it took to make a change. What a gift Ruby gives us, showing us what it felt like to do this, showing us the photos that make it real, and letting us know the little girl that lived through it all.… (more)
LibraryThing member vanessa6
This book is a great history book on the integration of whites and blacks together in the public schools. The pictures are very realistic! Ruby Bridges tells about her own experiences as being the first student to be integrated. Great details, great facts and it keeps you wanting to know more! Perfect book to use with Black History Month.… (more)
LibraryThing member szierdt
This is a very important book and the United States is so fortunate to have such an intimate written piece documenting the experience of Ruby Bridges. Children and adults can take away understanding and meaning from this book. Throughout, other issues and important political players are introduced. This book would be a perfect springboard for exploring the civil rights movement and race relations. I appreciate that Bridges doesn't leave behind the reality that today, many schools are being virutually segregated again due to unequality and lasting discrimination. A very sould touching read.… (more)
LibraryThing member juju1220
Loved this book! A story about integration in the south and the strength and courage that little Ruby Bridges had to wake up each morning and attend an all white school. The book provided actual interviews from her family, teachers and presidents about integrations in the south public schools. I enjoyed learning about the facts that surrounded this turmoil in the 60's. This would be a great addition to include with curriculum about the civil rights movement in the US.… (more)
LibraryThing member kkcrossley
Amazing story of Ruby Bridges the first black child escorted into a white school. Bridges tells the story from her childish perspective of the time. Includes many photos, news articles and quotes from family and others.
LibraryThing member KatherineC032
This autobiographical account of Ruby Bridge’s struggle for equal education paints a stark yet honest picture of racism in American history. She begins by describing her first days entering the first grade. U.S. Marshals escorted her and her mother to and from school every day for the entire year. She was met at school by protesters who didn't want her in school and even met death threats on her way to class. It was through her caring and passionate teacher, Mrs. Henry, that Ruby went on to complete her education. This book portrays the courage and heroism of a young girl that paved the way for civil rights.… (more)
LibraryThing member elpowers
Great historical look at the Ruby Bridges story, told from her point of view, and with follow-up on her now. Great photographs!
LibraryThing member KimReadingLog
A firsthand account of Ruby Bridges’ experience integrating into William Frantz Elementary in 1960. Full of photographs and perspectives from both Ruby and others involved, such as John Steinbeck, and Ruby’s teacher, Mrs. Barbara Henry. A compelling look at segregation and racism in our not-so-distant past.
LibraryThing member kirolsen
The story of Ruby Bridges is phenomenal. It is hard to do this story justice in a summary. Ruby tells the story of herself at the age of 6 with the help of family and friends. She recalls a pivotal moment in history that she herself lived through, when she was the first African-American child to go to Franz Elementary School at the time of integration. Her bravery and willingness to stand up in the face of racism makes for a truely powerful story. We are lucky to have her memories and words to record this event.… (more)
LibraryThing member ShelbyDietsch
summary: The story of a girl named Ruby and her life living through the civil rights movement. Ruby was an african american child who was chosen to attend an all while school. She tells her fears, struggles, and concerns. Her first day of school she was escorted by four white US Federal Marshals. She saw all the people who were upset and angry. She experienced her first white teacher. She talks about the struggles of integration and how she never figured out what the problem was until one day a boy said he wasn't allowed to play with her because she was black.

classroom connection: This book is an excellent resource while studying the civil rights movement. It's a personal insight to what it was like. It's easy for children to put themselves in Ruby's shoes and to see how different things were back then.
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(126 ratings; 4.5)
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