I Am Ruby Bridges

Orchard. Sept. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338753882.
K-Gr 2–Autobiographies for young elementary students are a rare find. This jewel of a book, written by a Civil Rights icon and engagingly illustrated by Smith, transports young audiences to Bridges’s own thinking and experience as she recalls her six-year-old self. As a child, Bridges was curious about so much and had a sense of what world events were going on around her. As narrator, Bridges does not break a child’s perspective and keeps her voice true as she notices but doesn’t explain the momentous change she was a part of. What mattered to her was going to school and making new friends. While there are many titles available that celebrate Bridges, this title soars with the voice of a hero recalling her own childhood and honoring the children who will read this story.
VERDICT Any picture book collection tackling the Civil Rights Movement has to start here. Highly recommended for all shelves, this exemplary title for history and biography collections shows how the events of the world impact our youngest citizens.

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