Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday choice is about an amazing woman who, from a young age, has had the strength to stand up for what’s right. This seems the perfect time to share Justice Ginsburg’s story.
Title: I DISSENT, RUTH BADER GINSBURG MAKES HER MARK
Written by: Debbie Levy
Illustrated by: Elizabeth Baddeley
Simon & Schuster, 2016, biography
Suitable for ages: 4-8 (and older)
Themes/topics: supreme court, judges, law, social justice, gender, women’s history
You could say that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life has been… one disagreement after another. Disagreement with creaky old ideas. With unfairness. With inequality. Ruth has disagreed, disapproved, and differed. She has objected. She has resisted. She has dissented. Disagreeable? No. Determined? Yes. This is how Ruth Bader Ginsburg changed her life—and ours.
Brief synopsis (from barnesandnoble.com)
Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable!
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.
Activities and Resources:
The book shows several of Justice Ginsburg’s childhood experiences that changed her in different ways. What is an experience you’ve had that has changed you? How are you different?
Consider the page near the end about Ginsburg’s disagreements with Scalia. How can you learn from people you disagree with? Using a point of disagreement, model a discussion that involves listening, considering, and sharing.
Why I like this book:
There seems to be a lot of dissent these days. Do we dissent to make the world more fair and just? Or is it for selfish reasons? Do we disagree for the sake of disagreement? Or for a higher purpose?
Justice Ginsburg, a woman of diminutive stature, has immense integrity and courage. Her story can inspire others to find their strength, their gift to the world. Despite all the strikes against her, she found her way.
The story rings with powerful words as it follows Ginsburg’s life from childhood to the present. Debbie Levy’s engaging text is rich with detail that immerses the reader in the context of the time. Ginsburg’s strength, threaded through the narrative, is joyful and inspiring. One of my favorite pages depicts her disagreements with Justice Scalia, how they learned from each other, and also how they enjoyed a great friendship.
While Elizabeth Baddeley’s rich illustrations have a sense of fun, they also overflow with an entire range of emotions. The faces are amazing! Text becomes art as words move from the narrative into the illustrations.
On a personal note, I can’t help but be filled with the thrill of anticipation looking at Elizabeth Baddeley’s work. She’s illustrating my debut picture book, AN INCONVENIENT ALPHABET due out in fall of 2018!! Can’t wait to see how her illustrations make the story come alive!
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.