Enlightening, inspiring, and empowering.

BECOMING RBG

RUTH BADER GINSBURG'S JOURNEY TO JUSTICE

Levy expands upon I Dissent (2016), her picture-book biography of the Supreme Court justice and cultural icon, in this graphic biography.

Octogenarian Ruth Bader Ginsburg is widely renowned for her intelligence, clarity, perseverance, and determination to move the needle of the American judicial system toward tangible justice and equity. With clear, effortless text conveyed in narrative boxes and speech bubbles, author Levy shows readers that these traits have been core tenets of Justice Ginsburg’s life since childhood. The evenly paced narrative provides an overview of Ginsburg’s life from her birth through her appointment on the Supreme Court, showing how her relationships with family members and her (delightfully unconventional) husband and the discrimination she faced as a woman and a Jew affected the arc of her life and career. Levy seamlessly provides historical context for this discrimination and the discrimination of other marginalized people Ginsburg worked with, and she neatly breaks down some of Ginsburg’s key legal cases to make them accessible. A detailed prose epilogue charts Ginsburg’s time on the Supreme Court, the personal and professional challenges she has faced since her appointment, and the cultural impact she continues to have. Gardner’s two-tone illustrations (a patriotic deep blue with red-pink highlights and ample use of white space) are friendly, easy to follow, expressive, and engaging, though at times text-box placement is awkward, and the use of type is unexceptional. Backmatter includes a timeline, a select bibliography, and endnotes with quotation sources.

Enlightening, inspiring, and empowering. (Graphic biography. 10-adult)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2456-2

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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SMILE

Telgemeier has created an utterly charming graphic memoir of tooth trauma, first crushes and fickle friends, sweetly reminiscent of Judy Blume’s work. One night, Raina trips and falls after a Girl Scout meeting, knocking out her two front teeth. This leads to years of painful surgeries, braces, agonizing root canals and other oral atrocities. Her friends offer little solace through this trying ordeal, spending more of their time teasing than comforting her. After years of these girls’ constant belittling, Raina branches out and finds her own voice and a new group of friends. Young girls will relate to her story, and her friend-angst is palpable. Readers should not overlook this seemingly simply drawn work; the strong writing and emotionally expressive characters add an unexpected layer of depth. As an afterword, the author includes a photo of her smiling, showing off the results of all of the years of pain she endured. Irresistible, funny and touching—a must read for all teenage girls, whether en-braced or not. (Graphic memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-13205-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Bantam Discovery

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl.

FRIENDS FOREVER

From the Friends series , Vol. 3

Shannon just wants to get through eighth grade in one piece—while feeling like her own worst enemy.

In this third entry in popular author for young people Hale’s graphic memoir series, the young, sensitive overachiever is crushed by expectations: to be cool but loyal to her tightknit and dramatic friend group, a top student but not a nerd, attractive to boys but true to her ideals. As events in Shannon’s life begin to overwhelm her, she works toward finding a way to love and understand herself, follow her passions for theater and writing, and ignore her cruel inner voice. Capturing the visceral embarrassments of middle school in 1987 Salt Lake City, Shannon’s emotions are vivid and often excruciating. In particular, the social norms of a church-oriented family are clearly addressed, and religion is shown as being both a comfort and a struggle for Shannon. While the text is sometimes in danger of spelling things out a little too neatly and obviously, the emotional honesty and sincerity drawn from Hale’s own life win out. Pham’s artwork is vibrant and appealing, with stylistic changes for Shannon’s imaginings and the leeching out of color and use of creative panel structures as her anxiety and depression worsen.

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl. (author's note, gallery) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-31755-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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