Wednesday, March 9, 2016
10th March Ruby's Wish
Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges and Sophie Blackall gives both a historical view of education for girls and a Chinese view. Ruby lives in a compound in China with all her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandfather. She stands out because she loves the colour red and wears it whenever she can. It is a wealthy family because Ruby's grandfather pays a teacher to come to the house to give lessons to all of the children who want to attend. Ruby revels in the lessons and works very hard in class as well as completing all the tasks she is expected to undertake as a girl in this household. One day she writes a poem:
Alas, bad luck to be born a girl; worse luck to be
born into this house where only boys are cared for.
Ruby's grandfather worried about what Ruby has written, summons her to his office. Ruby doesn't want to upset her grandfather but finally she tells him that she doesn't want to finish school and get married. She wants to go to university. The story has a wonderful ending. Ruby is accepted into university and Shirin informs the reader that this is a true story about her grandmother, Ruby who was one of the first female university students.
This is a very powerful story. My Year 2 girls find it very hard to believe that girls haven't always gone to school and thus have lots of questions when reading this story. The photo embedded in the illustration on the last page is a lovely touch which makes it impossible not to be so very pleased about the conclusion.