Young audiences will enjoy meeting the Supreme Court justice who changed the world through Rose Davidson’s bright biography of the unparalleled Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Beginning with one of her career triumphs—her institution as the second woman justice in the history of the US Supreme Court—this text introduces Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a keen sense of historical context. Readers will learn not just that she was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, but about what being Jewish at the time of the Second World War was like. In concise terms, Davidson shows how Ginsburg’s early experiences shaped the woman she became: someone devoted to ensuring equality for all.
But Ginsburg’s story is not only explored in terms of her later activism. Davidson includes details that younger readers will relate to, including that Ruth, who was born Joan Ruth, wanted to distinguish herself from her classmates, and so shortened her name; and that she was an avid fan of Nancy Drew stories. The book follows her through college in upstate New York and celebrates her marriage to her supportive husband, also a lawyer. It foreshadows her later feminism by revealing that her Harvard Law School classmates resented the presence of women among them, but also highlights the spirit of determination that led her to break boundaries everywhere she worked.
This is a text designed to facilitate learning. Throughout, vocabulary boxes define perhaps unfamiliar terms, and parenthetical breakdowns help with pronunciations. The hierarchy of the judicial branch is captured in a graph, a quiz at the end gathers the facts, and pull quotes and black-and-white photographs flesh out the girl who became a legend.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg encouraged people to “fight for the things that you care about;” reading this biography, young audiences will be ready to follow her lead.
Michelle Anne Schingler
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