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THIS IS YOUR TIME by Ruby Bridges Kirkus Star


by Ruby Bridges

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-593-37852-6
Publisher: Delacorte

International speaker Bridges applies lessons of history to the task before us.

The text of the book reads like a letter, addressed to “you,” the children of today. Each spread has one page of simply phrased text—a short paragraph in a large font against a white background—facing a page of one or two black-and-white photographs. The first 20 pages vividly recount Bridges’ experience as a first grader integrating an all-White school in New Orleans: the angry crowds lining her path, the federal marshals ordered to protect her, the difficult choice her parents faced, her kind teacher from Boston who spent the days alone with her in a classroom emptied of White children whose families protested integration. The words then transition to appreciation of the many children Bridges has spoken with during school visits. She shares individual encounters with hopeful and brave children who inspired her as well as general reflections on racism and generational dynamics. Finally, the text turns to the present day—the need for “love and grace for one another that will heal this world.” Pictures of 2020 protests, sometimes sharing the page with pictures from historical protests, show young people demanding change. The simple layout is powerful: The photographs present a striking reality concerning our collective past and the repetition of history. Bridges’ hopeful words, her faith born of experience, are soothing and encouraging in this time of unrest and uncertainty.

Essential reading for all ages.

(Nonfiction. 6-adult)