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BECOMING RBG by Debbie Levy


Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice

by Debbie Levy ; illustrated by Whitney Gardner

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5344-2456-2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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)