A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Biographical information on Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Historical information about immigrant groups in mid-century Brooklyn; sex-role expectations in the 1940s; Jim Crow laws and discrimination against Jews, African-Americans, Mexicans; discrimination against women in the workforce; function of the Supreme Court; legal meaning of "opinons" and "dissent"; career path of law school to lawyer to judge. Afterword explains specific cases in greater depth and names other women who fought for equality.
You don't have to do what the world expects you to; you can dissent. Women can have important, influential careers. Even when you face discrimination and setbacks, you can achieve great things. It's important to fight for equality.
Positive Role Models
RBG is an extremely impressive role model. Though she came of age in an era when women weren't expected to work or achieve, she trusted her own path. She overcame prejudice directed at her because she was female and Jewish. She pursued higher education and law school and successfully managed both family and career. When she was denied positions or access, she pursued alternate career paths. She fought for equality for women, African-Americans, other minorities. She's articulate, confident, and powerful and became a justice on the highest court in the land.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley, is an informative and engaging biography of the first Jewish woman to serve on America's highest court. Born in an era when girls were expected to limit their aspirations to the domestic sphere, Ginsburg dedicated herself to fighting for the rights of women and minorities. When she encountered obstacles, she persisted. The complicated legal ideas in the text are explained clearly and simplified for the intended age group, and the art humanizes the heroine and gives the book heart. RBG's life and accomplishments are truly inspiring, a powerful model for young readers.
Is It Any Good?
This bio of Justice Ginsburg is supremely inspiring, breaking down complicated ideas about the constitution, legal system, and issues of equality for young readers while celebrating Ginsburg's life. Levy cleverly pulls out words that show Ginsburg disagreeing with the status quo and organizes the narrative around them. The young Ruth in I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark not only dissented, she also "protested," "objected," "disapproved," "resisted and persisted," and "did not concur" -- which arms young girls with a vocabulary to use when they run up against opposition.
Illustrator Elizabeth Baddeley's illustration works perfectly with the text, vividly portraying the settings and experiences of the young Ruth, who's pictured with a determined glint in her eye, rendering her relatable to smart, plucky girls everywhere.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.