Gr 3 Up—”Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: During this trial, you will learn about a little girl who had no clue just how important she would become. You will see the unfair world she was born into—where boys were valued more than girls, where women were not encouraged to achieve and aspire…Here are the facts of her case.”
Thus begins this clever, engaging picture book biography, which chronicles Ginsburg’s early years in Brooklyn, at Cornell, and beyond, highlighting the obstacles she encountered at every turn. Readers are asked to act as the jury, examining the injustices the young lawyer faced: “Exhibit F: Even among the law firms supposedly open to hiring women, not one firm would hire her.
She was a woman, she was Jewish, AND she was a mother.” The illustrations, rendered in gouache, ink, and Photoshop, illuminate the text with humor and sophistication. One page features the young college student perched under the sink in the bathroom, secretly studying—everyone knew a smart, studious girl would never get asked on a date.
Another shows caricatures of the large, black-robed male justices yawning, angry, or perplexed as a tiny Ginsburg reads one of her famous “dissents.” The endpapers feature shelves and shelves of books in the same muted tones of the book—cream, pale pink, black, gray, and brown. Pair with Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley’s I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, another fabulous picture book biography on the subject. VERDICT An excellent addition to “Mighty Girl” collections!—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools