First Grader Down South, 1960
Young Ruby Bridges goes it alone
I gave both sets of grandchildren this book for Christmas. I’d rediscovered the book’s author, Robert Coles, just recently. He’d been a major writer about children and poverty decades ago when we baby boomers were politically active. He was a role model. I hadn’t known he wrote this children’s book in 1995 about a young girl standing alone before the ugly face of racism. I was curious, so I put in a request for it at the library. Ruby’s story was so moving and so wonderfully illustrated that I ordered a few copies at the bookstore.
On Christmas Day, my 8-year-old grandson with all sorts of electronic presents and new Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving shirts to try on, brought the book over to me and read it silently to himself shoulder to shoulder with me on the couch. He said he’d read it at school. He wanted me to know.