Ruby's Wish, written by Shirin Yim Bridges, is an true story about a young girl in China who wants to go to the university to get an education instead of following the tradition of growing up and getting married. This inspiring story tells of a determined little girl who works hard to make time for studies as well as learning how to cook and clean house. The mothers, at that time in China, thought that learning to cook and clean house so that they could get a good husband was much more important that studying for a chance to go to the university. As Ruby tries to "do it all" many of the other girls give up the studies. Ruby's grandfather continually encourages her as he notices her talent in calligraphy and poetry. He finds out that Ruby believes that the boys are better looked after than the girls but he tells her to continue with her studies. Eventually she is rewarded for her hard work when her grandfather presents her with a letter of acceptance to the university.
I believe this would be a wonderful addition to every elementary collection. All children, boys and girls alike, will appreciate the story of Ruby and be encouraged to work hard to achieve their dreams. The story also shows the rewards of being independent and determined while being respectful of traditions and culture. The story, illustrated in beautiful watercolors, gives readers a look at the Chinese culture and how it has changed just in the past 80 years. The readers will also see that even when your wishes and dreams seem impossible you shouldn't give up on them. If a small girl can change her destiny and how her culture percieves a girl's place in society then the readers will see that they can accomplish great things, too.