2016 in [Book] Review Books Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

[Nonfiction Wednesday] When It Is Time To Say “I Dissent”

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

Myra here.

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!

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

10 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] When It Is Time To Say “I Dissent”

  1. Great artwork, great review. I might have to check this one out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still haven’t read this, Myra and want to! FYI-and I would love to get It’s Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I’ve heard it’s good too. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. annettepimentel

    I, too, feel like my understanding of the past has grown exponentially through fantastic nonfiction picture books. This is a wonderful one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely adore this book and so did my daughters. What a marvelous book!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This book really is amazing. I would not be surprised if we hear about it on Monday.


  6. This book has been super popular at our store- and fortunately all the other books of other female change makers. I’m glad people are reading them and learning about amazing people and getting inspired!


  7. Fats Suela

    I love RBG! I bought “Notorious RBG” when I wasn’t able to read the copy I borrowed from the library last year. Hehe!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] My 2017 in Books, Reading Stats, and Best Books Read in 2017 Across Genres – Gathering Books

  9. Pingback: [Nonfiction Wednesday] Rising Up To The Occasion To Fight Inequality: Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Gathering Books

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