Monday, January 16, 2017

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy -- powerful role model for all kids (ages 6-10)

Young students throughout Berkeley march each year in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., leaving campus and walking through the community holding signs proclaiming "Peace" "Love" and "I have a dream of equality." Alongside biographies of MLK, we study other figures who stand up for their values. A favorite new picture book is I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark -- it is a perfect way to honor this day of service, this day of protest.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
by Debbie Levy
illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
Simon & Schuster, 2016
winner of 2017 Sydney Taylor Book Award
Your local library
ages 6-10
*best new book*
Throughout her life, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has fought for the things she cares about, pushing back against bias, racism, sexism. This is a timely book to share with children, that will lead to many conversations about how we can protest for the things we believe in.
"She has objected. She has resisted. She has dissented.
Disagreeable? No. Determined? Yes.
"She didn't get what she wanted...
Ruth was learning that sometimes life was like that."
Young readers notice how Ginsburg draws strength from her personal struggles and how she has felt the sting of prejudice herself. Ginsburg was pushed to write with her right hand, even though she was left-handed. She was required to take sewing and cooking classes, even though she wanted to take shop. She noticed signs that excluded Jews and blacks, and realized how unfair those practices were.

I especially love the interplay between words, pictures and story in this picture book biography. Kids love passionately declaring their positions, and Levy uses powerful, stirring action words: objected, resisted, protested, persisted. Baddeley incorporates these into her illustrations with bold graphic design.

Levy ends this biography with a look at Ginsburg's work serving on the Supreme Court, standing up for "fairness and equality." Above all else, Ruth Bader Ginsburg shows how disagreeing with others in a logical, well-reasoned, persistent way can help change minds.

I Dissent has been awarded the 2017 Sydney Taylor Book Award by the Association of Jewish Libraries. This is one of the best picture book biographies I have read this year. The review copy was kindly sent by the publishers, Simon & Schuster. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2017 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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