We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2017 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year.
We are still going through 2016 nonfiction picturebook titles that we missed out on from last year, and it gives me such great pleasure to finally share this book that resonated deeply with me for a variety of reasons.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Written by: Debbie Levy lllustrated by: Elizabeth Baddeley
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016
ISBN: 1481465597 (ISBN13: 9781481465595)
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.
I realize that I am learning a great deal about historical and contemporary change-makers, visionaries, revolutionaries through nonfiction picturebook titles: from Sojourner Truth to Rosa Parks, Dolores Huerta to Cesar Chavez – and now Ruth Bader Ginsburg whose name is now synonymous to “I Dissent,” at least for me.
The story begins from Ruth’s childhood, depicting her initial struggles as a left-handed, Jewish girl in a multi-ethnic American society growing up in Brooklyn New York in the 1940s where young, proper girls are expected to find a good husband and live quietly as a homemaker. Naturally, she objected (along with her fierce and progressive mother).
I love how Ruth found inspiration in Nancy Drew, Amelia Earhart, and Greek goddesses. Clearly, she loved books and devoured them – the kind of woman who is bound to change the world, and that she did.
It was also particularly illuminating how her choice of a life partner also partially determined her eventual success in life. Research studies among the most accomplished women (something I am deeply fascinated in) also indicate this to be quite a common occurrence: one’s spouse being quite influential in determining the boundaries (and extent) of a person’s achievement. In the photo above, it shows how Ruth’s husband, a distinguished lawyer himself, is the chef of the household. It made me smile because my husband does the cooking in our house as well. I have achieved a doctorate in being a klutz in the kitchen.
I suspect that there is so much more in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life that is worthwhile knowing about, and that her travails have been somewhat simplified for a young reader’s delectation. Teachers would be happy to note though that there is an extensive backmatter that provides even more information about Ginsburg’s life. It does appear that a full-length biography or memoir is now out for adult readers to truly appreciate how much (I imagine) she had to endure as the second female to have become a Judge in the Supreme Court. Now that the world has become more bonkers than ever, these lines I Dissent take on a whole new meaning. I’ve read somewhere that when the justice system has failed its people, it becomes our social and moral responsibility to do as Ginsburg does and state without equivocation: “I Dissent.”
Here is a short youtube clip of a CBS Sunday Morning Feature of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Enjoy!