Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

Debbie Levy
Illustrator:  Elizabeth Baddeley 
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016   ISBN: 978-1481465595

It is 1940 and Ruth Bader lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. Ruth’s neighbors are mostly immigrants and though they speak different languages, celebrate different holidays, and eat different foods, there is one important thing that they all have in common: In these families the boys get to “go out into the world, and do big things,” and the girls stay a home and get married.

Thankfully for Ruth, her mother Celia thinks that girls should be allowed to “make their mark on the world” too, and so she takes Ruth to the library. Through books Ruth finds out about many women who have done interesting and meaningful things with their lives. Ruth discovers that contrary to what society seems to believe, girls and women can do anything. They can even take charge if they want to.

As she grew up, Ruth saw for herself how women, people of color, and how Jews like her, were discriminated against. As a child there wasn’t much Ruth could do about these injustices, but she did not forget them.

Nor surprisingly, clever, hardworking, and hard headed Ruth went to college. There she met Martin Ginsburg, a young man who made her laugh and with whom she fell in love. The couple decided that they would both go to law school because as lawyers they could “fight unfairness and prejudice in courts.” People approved of Martin’s choice of career, but they did not think that Ruth should try to be a lawyer.

Ruth did not listen to those who disapproved of her career choice. She went to law school and did brilliantly. Surely now Ruth would get the opportunity to bring about changes as she had dreamed of doing. Unfortunately, the fact that Ruth was a woman, that she was a mother, and that she was Jewish meant that no one wanted to hire her.

This wonderful picture book biography tells the story of one of America’s greatest woman, a woman who has fought for justice and equal rights and who has showed the world that a woman can be a lawyer, a judge, and a justice on the Supreme Court.

At the back of the book readers will find further information about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and her work.