An insightful and fascinating examination of Ginsburg as woman and jurist.

RUTH OBJECTS

THE LIFE OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG

From the Big Words series

Ruth Bader Ginsburg witnessed and experienced discrimination, both subtle and overt, that profoundly affected her choices and the direction her life would take.

Her mother was denied many opportunities, but she was determined that Ruth would achieve independence. She died just before Ruth’s high school graduation, never seeing her daughter’s splendid achievements. Colleges had quotas for admitting women, Jews, and racial minorities. School administrators openly disparaged women, and there were severe restrictions regarding housing, dining, curfews, and studying. Women, including Ruth, had to leave jobs when pregnant. There was discrimination in hiring for positions in law firms or for clerkships. But Ruth persevered, with her husband as equal life-partner every step of the way. While a law professor at Rutgers University she participated in a successful lawsuit seeking equal pay with her male counterparts. Many more lawsuits seeking to end gender inequities followed. As lawyer, federal judge, and the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, her remarkable career was forged from strength, determination, and pure guts. Rappaport tells Ruth’s story chronologically, punctuating it with Bader’s own words. Differing typesets, font sizes, and colors separate the quotes from the cogent, informative narration supplied. Per series formula, there is no title on the front cover—just Velasquez’s oil portrait depicting her intensity and serious demeanor. Interior illustrations focus on Ruth in every phase of her life and perfectly match the text.

An insightful and fascinating examination of Ginsburg as woman and jurist. (timeline, author’s note, illustrator’s note, selected bibliography, additional resources) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-148474717-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion/LBYR

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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A pivotal moment in a child’s life, at once stirring and authentically personal.

JUST LIKE JESSE OWENS

Before growing up to become a major figure in the civil rights movement, a boy finds a role model.

Buffing up a childhood tale told by her renowned father, Young Shelton describes how young Andrew saw scary men marching in his New Orleans neighborhood (“It sounded like they were yelling ‘Hi, Hitler!’ ”). In response to his questions, his father took him to see a newsreel of Jesse Owens (“a runner who looked like me”) triumphing in the 1936 Olympics. “Racism is a sickness,” his father tells him. “We’ve got to help folks like that.” How? “Well, you can start by just being the best person you can be,” his father replies. “It’s what you do that counts.” In James’ hazy chalk pastels, Andrew joins racially diverse playmates (including a White child with an Irish accent proudly displaying the nickel he got from his aunt as a bribe to stop playing with “those Colored boys”) in tag and other games, playing catch with his dad, sitting in the midst of a cheering crowd in the local theater’s segregated balcony, and finally visualizing himself pelting down a track alongside his new hero—“head up, back straight, eyes focused,” as a thematically repeated line has it, on the finish line. An afterword by Young Shelton explains that she retold this story, told to her many times growing up, drawing from conversations with Young and from her own research; family photos are also included. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A pivotal moment in a child’s life, at once stirring and authentically personal. (illustrator’s note) (Autobiographical picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-545-55465-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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Go adventuring with a better guide.

50 ADVENTURES IN THE 50 STATES

From the The 50 States series

Find something to do in every state in the U.S.A.!

This guide highlights a location of interest within each of the states, therefore excluding Washington, D.C., and the territories. Trivia about each location is scattered across crisply rendered landscapes that background each state’s double-page spread while diminutive, diverse characters populate the scenes. Befitting the title, one “adventure” is presented per state, such as shrimping in Louisiana’s bayous, snowshoeing in Connecticut, or celebrating the Fourth of July in Boston. While some are stereotypical gimmes (surfing in California), others have the virtue of novelty, at least for this audience, such as viewing the sandhill crane migration in Nebraska. Within this thematic unity, some details go astray, and readers may find themselves searching in vain for animals mentioned. The trivia is plentiful but may be misleading, vague, or incorrect. Information about the Native American peoples of the area is often included, but its brevity—especially regarding sacred locations—means readers are floundering without sufficient context. The same is true for many of the facts that relate directly to expansion and colonialism, such as the unexplained near extinction of bison. Describing the genealogical oral history of South Carolina’s Gullah community as “spin[ning] tales” is equally brusque and offensive. The book tries to do a lot, but it is more style than substance, which may leave readers bored, confused, slightly annoyed—or all three. (This book was reviewed digitally with 12.2-by-20.2-inch double-page spreads viewed at 80% of actual size.)

Go adventuring with a better guide. (tips on local adventuring, index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5445-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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