Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-07-11 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

"This picture book biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg shows her intelligence from childhood onward. With a mother who loved books and reading, Ruth was raised to go to college in a time when most women did not attend. Ruth’s mother passed away the day she graduated high school and never saw her daughter head to Cornell and then on to law school. Along the way, Ruth noticed all of the inequities around her, towards minorities and women. She experienced some of the directly: having her pay slashed when pregnant and being barred from the Law Library at Harvard because she was a woman. With the fight for equality for women, Ruth became the most important female attorney in the nation as she argued before the Supreme Court. Eventually, she would become the second female court justice and the author of some of the most powerful dissents in the Court’s history.

This picture book starts with Ruth’s childhood and the importance of her mother and also ends that way. Throughout it is a celebration of the power of women and the importance of their roles and their voices. Winter writes with a strong sense of history and shows both the possibilities there are in the world and also what hard work it takes to get there. The illustrations by Innerst have a quirky historical quality to them with watercolor but also a distinct modern twist as well. This is a strong biography of Ginsburg and her importance to the entire country. Appropriate for ages 7-9.
" said.

"So many recent books about RBG! This one takes a different approach, presenting her life story as a case before a jury with evidence from her life events to illustrate inquality. The trial by jury doesn't completely work; it doesn't seem fully realized. The beginning speaks to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury, whom are drawn in outlines before a young Ruth. That is the last we see or are referred to as the jury. Despite that, the facts of her life are shared in an engaging way. The illustrations are done in muted colors, red and some blue standing out from otherwise brown palette. They are a good match to the writing. We see RBG constantly reading and the endpapers give us shelves and shelves of books, with Judge Ginsburg in her robes, one a ladder reading for one. Underneath the jacket, you can find the scales of justice (I'm assuming) with the men of the Supreme Court on one side and Judge Ginsburg and her books on the other--is this to show she stands alone yet carries much weight in her judgments? she's more intelligent than her fellow judges? she's better read?
Sadly, we also get a two-page spread of her speaking from the bench while her male counterparts stand and appear to not be listening.

The image of RBG hiding so boys wouldn't know she was studying is a little odd. It looks like she's wearing the sink as a hat. Even that she's sitting under the sink seems unlikely--you can sit in a bathroom without being under the sink. Also, the layout of exhibits D and E should be switched around -- we read left to right which means we're reading E before D (at least I did).
" said.


This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello friends! Our book today is Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case Of R.B.G. vs. Inequality, written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Stacy Innerst, a picture book biography of the Supreme Court justice’s formative years.

Born in Brooklyn to the children of Jewish immigrants, Ruth Bader learned early on that discrimination was a part of daily life. Her family was the victim of anti-Semitic prejudice, and her mother, despite her intelligence, was forced to stay at home and support the men in her life as the attitudes of the time dictated. This introduction to the inequitable treatment of minorities, along with the encouragement and support of her mother, drove Ruth to fight. She fought for her right to attend college (where she regularly finished at or near the top of her class), to graduate from law school, and to become a lawyer for the ACLU, all while marrying the love of her life and starting a family. Her diligent work was recognized after many years when she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, then to the Supreme Court, only the second woman in history to do so. There, she continues to argue for the rights of the disenfranchised to this day.

It’s not hard to be moved by a biography of Ginsburg, but Winter’s version – presented in the structure of a legal argument, including items of evidence and opening and closing statements – does a great job of distilling RBG’s wealth of accomplishments down for young readers. I loved the focus on individual acts of discrimination she suffered, which not only highlights her fortitude but also illustrates the national attitude towards women and Jews at the time. The illustrations are wonderful, using color, style and tone to imbue each scene with emotion. However, the length should be noted here: this book is LONG, and while JJ sat patiently through it, it’s a better fit for older bookworms. A great biography of an American icon, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Be sure to check out The Baby Bookworm for more reviews!
" said.

"Published just one year after Levy's I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, this is another picture-book length biography of the Supreme Court Justice also known as & immortalized in Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also aimed at the same audience as Levy's book; meant to be read aloud to kindergartners through 3rd or 4th graders.

The writing style is equally dramatic, in this case written to mimic the flourish and theatrics of a lawyer's presentation to a judge or jury. On the first page, a literary chorus of jurors opens the book facing Ruth as a child. The gouache & ink illustrations use a limited sepia-focused palette that includes just enough reds and blues to illustrate scenes from Ruth's childhood, education, and career. A section in the middle illustrates 8 incidents in her life that were dramatic experiences of inequality and injustice. The "verdict" on the last page proclaims that "...because she did not give, because she refused to let other people define her limitations as a person, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has herself become a symbol of justice in America"

The end-matter includes a Glossary that includes an assortment of topics, such as "Cornell University", "Evidence", and "Women's Liberation Movement," and is followed by a one-page Author's Note that seems to be partly a parallel presentation of important facts that didn't fit smoothly into the picture-book narrative, and partly a framing of her significance - extending the relevance of her life past the facts of her biography.

People will inevitably compare Winter's and Levy's picture book biographies and I hope that libraries will buy both, and use them not only for children curious about RBG, but also as examples of different writing & illustration styles - it seems unbelievable that the publication of Winter's book wasn't held up, given its redundancy, and yet the two are equally wonderful and equally worth reading!
" said.

" It had me at the end papers - images of the spines of many, many books. Like it is presenting a court case, this book tells the life story and major accomplishments of RBG in her journey to the Supreme Court. " said.

" Great book for grader schoolers to learn more about this amazing woman. " said.

" Yes yes YES. If you were underwhelmed by "She Persisted", try this one instead. This one is perfect. " said.

" Don’t skip the author’s note in the back " said.

July 2018 New Book:

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