Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Whitney Gardner

 Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Whitney Gardner, Simon & Schuster, 9781534424562, 2019

 Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book?  Debbie Levy, author of the 2016 picture book biography I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, this time takes on a graphic nonfiction treatment to explore the life of the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Levy sensitively develops young Ruth’s strong bond with her mother and her mother’s tragic death from cancer while Ruth was a teen. She brings that same clear eye to Ruth’s experiences with anti-Semitism and gender discrimination, laying out Ruth’s foundation for a life dedicated to equality and justice. Throughout, Levy explains legal concepts and landmark cases, expertly guiding young readers through this compelling story of Justice Ginsburg’s life and her passion for helping to make a more just society. The main text ends with Justice Ginsburg’s appointment to the Supreme Court, while an epilogue epilogue discusses her time and impact on the court.

Along with the informative and compelling text, the graphic treatment, which uses just two colors, primarily navy blue with judicious bits of red, will keep readers engaged throughout the book’s 200-plus pages. Readers wanting to know more or conduct research will find a useful timeline, a selected bibliography, and quotation sources.

Anything you did not like about the book? No. This volume is well-researched and accessible.

To whom would you recommend this book? Anyone wanting to know more about this feminist icon and brilliant legal force.

Who should buy this book? Middle and high school libraries and classrooms, public libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Biography.

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Lisa Rogers, John D. Hardy Elementary School, Wellesley


Date of review: December 18, 2019

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