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Ruby's Wish


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About the Author

Shirin Yim Bridges comes from a family of writers and artists. She has lived in many countries around the world and now lives in Northern California. This is her first book for children.

Sophie Blackall has illustrated two books, A Giraffe for France by Leith Hillard and 20 Party Tricks published by Chronicle Books. She lives in New York with her husband and two small children. Just like Ruby, her favorite color is red.


PreS-Gr 3-In 19th-century China it was not the custom to educate daughters. Girls were taught to run a household and do womanly tasks. Only boys received a formal education. Ruby's grandfather returned from the "Gold Mountain" (California) a wealthy man and, as was the custom of the day, married many wives who gave him many sons who all reared their families in the large family home. Thus, Ruby was raised in a house surrounded by extended family. Perhaps her grandfather brought back more than money from California, for he provided an education in the home for any of the children who wished to receive it. Ruby, with her love of the color red, drank in learning like a flower soaks up sunshine. Still, she knew it would be her lot to marry, while her boy cousins could continue their education. Her grandfather, however, knowing the wish of her heart, made it possible for her to be one of the first girls to obtain a university education in China. Based on the true story of author Shirin Yim Bridges's grandmother (and ending with a smiling photograph of the woman next to the author's illustration of her as a girl), this award-winning story (Chronicle Books, 2002) is a gentle, heart-felt tale that explores issues of equality and stereotyping. Sophie Blackall's gouache illustrations reflect Asian art forms and show a spunky girl to whom children will relate. The author narrates the tale with gentle expression and true feeling. Original background music has an oriental flavor. This beautifully crafted labor of love is a celebration of the value of education and the joy of following your dreams.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Bridges...handles the conflict between Chinese tradition and young Ruby's longing to attend university with grace and compassion....This understated tale takes Ruby's predicament seriously while still celebrating her love of learning and her joyful personality." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"As 'red is the color of celebration' in China, Ruby should bring joy to many young readers. A lovely read-aloud with illustrations to linger over." School Library Journal "Ruby's determined character will capture the audience's imagination." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "...[A] tale of one little girls's dream to become more than was traditionally possible." Kirkus Reviews "Told in a concise, straightforward style, the narrative provides just enough background for young children." Booklist "Bridges' lively storytelling turns what could have been just another family story about a feminist in to a gem." San Francisco Chronicle

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