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Thank You, Ruby Bridges

U.S. Deputy Marshals escort six-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1960. (Photo: AP Images)
U.S. Deputy Marshals escort six-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1960. (Photo: AP Images)

Ruby Bridges saw the harshness of racism through her own eyes. As a 6-year-old in 1960 she walked through a screaming mob into a white New Orleans elementary school. Today, along with Scholastic Book Clubs, she has recognized 25 students who described racism through their eyes in letters to Bridges.

These 25 students are winners of the first-ever Scholastic Book Clubs “Dear Ruby Bridges…” National Letter Writing Contest. Winners were chosen by Bridges for their sincerity and eloquence in sharing their own personal experiences. Almost 15,000 students in grades 4 to 6 wrote letters to Bridges, who is author of the autobiography Through My Eyes.

Here are the 25 winning essays.

Abigale C., Mississippi
Alexis G., Florida
Alicia Czarnecki, Michigan
Anaiste R., California
Belinda W., California
Bronte P., Massachusetts
Cambre G., Georgia
Cameihl R., Texas
Clare S., Ohio
Edward D., California
Elise F., Texas
Emilee M., Texas
Gosuke K., California
James G., Maryland
Jesse L., Indiana
Katelyn S., Texas
Kristen J., New Jersey
Laura C., New Jersey
Laureano G., California
Marissa M., Massachusetts
Matthew K., New Jersey
Meenakshi C., Massachusetts
Taryn C., Massachusetts
Tiyana H., Honolulu, HI
Zackery T., Orwigsburg, PA

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    Belle Teal

    Belle Teal

    Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin's gripping, widely acclaimed novel of a girl confronting the perils of friendship and the conflicts of community.

    Belle Teal's life isn't easy, but she gets by. She lives with her mother and grandmother far out in the country. They don't have much money, but Belle Teal feels rich with their love. As school begins, Belle Teal faces unexpected challenges. Her best friends are up against some big problems. And there are two new students in Belle Teal's class: a shy boy caught in the town's furor over desegregation, and a snob who has problems of her own. As her world falls apart, Belle Teal discovers the importance of sticking together.

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    Belle Teal
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    The Little Drummer Boy

    The Little Drummer Boy

    by Ezra Jack Keats and Ezra Jack Keats

    For many who grew up with "The Little Drummer Boy," this classic story of the encounter between a poor boy and the baby Jesus embodies the true spirit of Christmas. Now, to enchant a new generation, Kristina Rodanas has illustrated the familiar song. Her rich paintings cast an exotic, magical glow over the beloved words, and her unique vision of the scene delicately captures the boy's feelings of uncertainty, tenderness, and joy.

    On the dusty outskirts of Bethlehem, beneath a brightly shining star, a child's hands beat out a timeless message: give from the heart, and always march to the rhythm of your own drum.

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