Review by Annie Cronin Romano
I must admit, I don’t gravitate to the nonfiction shelves of the children’s section very often. But recently, I’ve been checking out an increasing quantity of nonfiction biography children’s books to read as mentor texts for a project. And it has been an amazing journey of discovery!
Why hadn’t I lingered around those children’s nonfiction shelves more in the past? There are some fascinating and well-written books there! It was difficult to choose just one title for my book pick this week.
Fear not! I narrowed it down and selected the inspiring picture book biography I DISSENT: RUTH BADER GINSBURG MAKES HER MARK (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016), by Debbie Levy.
Levy not only highlights the life events and remarkable career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but she also brings light to the importance of fighting for equality and pursuing your passions in life no matter the odds. Told in relatable language, which include some of Ginsburg’s school-aged experiences and feelings that most children are sure to relate to, Levy shares with energy and light humor the story of the first Jewish woman (and second woman overall) to serve as a justice on the United States Supreme Court. Elizabeth Baddeley’s spirited illustrations and bold use of text illuminate I DISSENT in a manner certain to draw in young readers. The writing and the illustrations work together to convey the vital message that disagreement doesn’t have to be mean-spirited, and voicing your own beliefs can lead to worthwhile outcomes.
I DISSENT: RUTH BADER GINSBURG MAKES HER MARK is picture book biography for children ages 4-8 years old.
With I DISSENT, Debbie Levy has written a strong, inspiring biography which is accessible and interesting to young readers. Far more than a timeline or string of factual events, I DISSENT tells Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s story with heart and personality. This makes the biography relatable, especially to children who may feel their dreams are beyond possibility. For writers, it is a strong mentor text for picture book biographies as Levy covers the the major events and shaping influences of Ginsburg's life without the story feeling watered down, and she tackles sensitive topics in a kid-appropriate manner.
For more information on Debbie Levy’s work, visit her website at http://debbielevybooks.com.
For more infomation on Elizabeth Baddeley’s work, visit her website at http://ebaddeley.com.
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