Read this and be inspired to work for justice through the legal system.

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Speak purposefully and carry a big legal pad.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 1940s Brooklyn neighborhood was filled with the traditional sights and aromas of many different immigrant cultures alongside her Jewish background, but in one respect her life was different. Her mother believed women should pursue opportunities outside the traditional ones. Ruth read voraciously in her neighborhood library, but it was on car trips with her family that she was exposed to racial and religious prejudices, effectively communicated with signage in the illustrations. Rebelling against writing with her right hand, the left-handed Ruth went on to earn a law degree—rare for women at that time—and teach law. She made it her mission to fight in the courts for equal rights for women and people of color. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the Supreme Court, the first Jewish woman to sit. In her many opinions, she “sings out for equality.” Levy’s breezy text highlights Ginsburg’s childhood, schooling, family (with a husband as the cook), and career. Baddeley’s mixed-media art is colorful, lively, and retro in feel. The judicious use of large and varied display types throughout the pages emphasizes Ginsburg’s thoughts and actions, often evoking picket signs of protest.

Read this and be inspired to work for justice through the legal system. (author’s note, photographs, notes on Supreme Court cases, bibliography, quotation sources) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6559-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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She said, “Failure is impossible,” and she was right, but unfortunately her steely determination does not come through in...


Susan B. Anthony worked to win women the right to vote her whole long life, but she did not live to see it done.

Wallner uses her flat decorative style and rich matte colors to depict Susan B. Anthony’s life, layering on details: Susan catching snowflakes behind her parents’ house; working in her father’s mill (briefly) and then departing school when the money ran out; writing at her desk; speaking passionately in front of small groups and rowdy crowds. It’s a little too wordy and a little less than engaging in describing a life in which Anthony traveled alone, hired her own halls, spoke tirelessly about women’s suffrage, published, created forums where women could speak freely and was arrested for registering to vote. Her life-long friendship with suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton is touched on, as are the virulent attacks against her ideas and her person. She died in 1906. Votes for women did not come to pass in the United States until 1920.

She said, “Failure is impossible,” and she was right, but unfortunately her steely determination does not come through in this book. (timeline, bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-1953-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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