Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Life & Work
Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Life & Work

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Annotation: The life and career of the fiercely principled Supreme Court Justice, now a popular icon, with dramatic accounts of her landmark cases that moved the needle on legal protection of human rights, illustrated with b/w archival photographs.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #209428
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 199 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-97364-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7450-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-97364-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7450-5
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2018035167
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
As the subtitle indicates, this biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg tells of her life from childhood to the present, while providing an overview of her work as a lawyer, a judge, and a Supreme Court justice. Growing up in a Jewish family in Brooklyn during WWII, Ruth Bader was acutely aware of anti-Semitism at home and abroad. Later, she and her husband, who both earned law degrees, worked hard through challenges such as serious illness and demanding careers to create a stable home for their family and a mutually supportive relationship. The text pulls together a good deal of information and presents it in a clear, straightforward way. Illustrations range from family snapshots and professional portraits to a photo of an "RBG bobblehead figure." Throughout the book, Ortiz offers detailed accounts of cases Ginsburg either heard as a Supreme Court justice or argued as a lawyer defending individuals' rights under the Constitution. The descriptions of noteworthy legal cases and significant court decisions are particularly well done. An absorbing introduction to Ginsburg and her achievements.
Horn Book
Ortiz's volume is a good introduction to progressive Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg's life, along with being a fine primer for studying the United States Constitution. Each chapter opens with an important Supreme Court case, switching midway to events in Ginsburg's biography that were relevant to that case. Many eye-catching archival photographs enhance the information. The Bill of Rights is appended for handy reference. Bib., ind.
Kirkus Reviews
A biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that illustrates her lifelong commitment to promoting civil rights.The author has expertly selected cases for this readable volume that will pique the interest of teens. The gripping first chapter introduces Savana Lee Redding, the eighth-grade honor roll student who sued after being strip-searched at school and eventually won in the Supreme Court, due partly to Ginsburg's explaining to her uncomprehending male fellow justices the humiliation the girl felt. Subsequent chapters intersperse black-and-white photos and details of Ginsburg's life with fascinating cases focusing on free speech, marriage equality, gender-based pay and benefit discrimination, and other hot-button issues. Readers learn about her early years as a Jewish girl in Brooklyn, hard work and academic stardom, college years at Cornell (where she met her husband-to-be), egalitarian marriage, and distinguished legal career spent in dogged pursuit of equality. Many examples of how Ginsburg herself experienced or witnessed discrimination are included. The last chapter explores the justice's recent role as a popular media and cultural icon. The author carefully shapes the most salient facts into a narrative that brings both protagonists and issues to life, deftly situating each case in its historical context; the result is far more than just a biography or history. It's a complex interweaving of both.Meticulous research and outstanding storytelling make Supreme Court arcana and the fight for equality come to life. (The Bill of Rights, source notes, bibliography, photo credits, index) (Biography. 12-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up This accessible and engaging biography of the Supreme Court Justice successfully weaves together information about her life and major court cases in which she had significant influence. Each of the 10 chapters highlights a different court case and a segment of Bader Ginsburg's life, including her academic pursuits, experiences as a woman facing blatant gender discrimination, and her marriage to Martin Ginsburg. The many challenges Bader Ginsburg faced as a person of the Jewish faith growing up during the time of World War II, and as a woman studying law in an overwhelmingly male field are described. Her ferocious determination to fight injustice and inequality stem from personal experience. The first three cases involve teens, (a 13-year-old girl who was strip-searched at school, a 16-year-old girl who fought random drug testing at school, and an 18-year-old boy who fought for his right to freedom of speech and expression at school), and should be particularly relatable to today's youth. Ortiz provides a good overview of how the court system works and how cases reach the Supreme Court. She also explains what it means to dissent and how Bader Ginsburg was encouraged from an early age through the teachings of Judaism to question, challenge, and disagree. Ample black-and-white photos show the subject throughout her life, including the people she defended and befriended. A lengthy bibliography is provided and the appendix includes the Bill of Rights. VERDICT A straightforward and up-to-date biography about a groundbreaking American icon. Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that illustrates her lifelong commitment to promoting civil rights.The author has expertly selected cases for this readable volume that will pique the interest of teens. The gripping first chapter introduces Savana Lee Redding, the eighth-grade honor roll student who sued after being strip-searched at school and eventually won in the Supreme Court, due partly to Ginsburg's explaining to her uncomprehending male fellow justices the humiliation the girl felt. Subsequent chapters intersperse black-and-white photos and details of Ginsburg's life with fascinating cases focusing on free speech, marriage equality, gender-based pay and benefit discrimination, and other hot-button issues. Readers learn about her early years as a Jewish girl in Brooklyn, hard work and academic stardom, college years at Cornell (where she met her husband-to-be), egalitarian marriage, and distinguished legal career spent in dogged pursuit of equality. Many examples of how Ginsburg herself experienced or witnessed discrimination are included. The last chapter explores the justice's recent role as a popular media and cultural icon. The author carefully shapes the most salient facts into a narrative that brings both protagonists and issues to life, deftly situating each case in its historical context; the result is far more than just a biography or history. It's a complex interweaving of both.Meticulous research and outstanding storytelling make Supreme Court arcana and the fight for equality come to life. (The Bill of Rights, source notes, bibliography, photo credits, index) (Biography. 12-18)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (6/1/19)
Horn Book
School Library Journal (5/1/19)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 173-192) and index.
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Reading Counts!: reading level:12.9 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q75842
Lexile: 1250L

The life and career of the fiercely principled Supreme Court Justice, now a popular icon, with dramatic accounts of her landmark cases that moved the needle on legal protection of human rights, illustrated with b/w archival photographs. Dramatically narrated case histories from Justice Ginsburg's stellar career are interwoven with an account of RBG's life--childhood, family, beliefs, education, marriage, legal and judicial career, children, and achievements--and her many-faceted personality is captured. The cases described, many involving young people, demonstrate her passionate concern for gender equality, fairness, and our constitutional rights. Notes, bibliography, index.


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