Ruby Bridges Goes To School: My True Story, by Ruby Bridges (Level 2 Scholastic Reader, with simple text for young readers.)
In 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges walked through an angry crowd and into a school where she changed history. This is the true story of an extraordinary little girl who helped shape our country when she became the first African-American to attend an all-white school in New Orleans. You can read a transcript of a PBS conversation from 1997 with Ruby Bridges here.
To read my review of Ruby's story Through My Eyes in her own words for 8-12 year olds, and The Story of Ruby Bridges, a beautiful picture book by Robert Coles (5-8 year olds), click here.
Over this three-day weekend honoring Martin Luther King, I've been re-reading Kathyrn Stockett's The Help, another amazing (though fictionalized) story of how brave African Americans faced some of the true ugliness of racism in the form of segregation during the 1960's.
Stockett is an amazing storyteller. Going beyond history, her fast-paced book carries us in and out of hilarious as well as heart wrenching scenarios...
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.
The story is told from the perspective of three narrators: two black maids, Aibileen Clark and Minnie Jackson, and a white college-graduate misfit who interviews them, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan. They set out to secretly write down stories of what is experienced by "the help" of white families in Jim Crow era Jackson, Mississippi.
"Everyone knows how we white people feel, the glorified Mammy figure who dedicates her whole life to a white family. Margaret Mitchell covered that. But no one ever asked Mammy how she felt about it."
If you've seen the movie, but not read the book, I highly recommend you go out and get it! (You won't be able to put it down.)