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Determined. Perseverant. Seemingly indefatigable. Smart beyond belief. All revealed in this graphic bio about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. While Levy tells the story in words, Gardner brings RBG's story to life with digital illustrations, purposefully filling in gaps left by the text. The reader has to read the words AND the pictures to get a full sense of what happened to RBG, how the world shaped her and how she has shaped our world. (BTW - I'm frequently disappointed by graphic novels because the written words do all of the work, leaving very little purpose for the illustrations. The Levy & Gardner duo did not fail me.)
Integrated into the layout and design of the book are scaffolds for middle grade/middle school readers who may be less familiar with the judicial system in the United States or with critical moments in particular periods of time. For example, key terms like “federal government” are occasionally defined in sidebars. Gardner integrates other helpful items into the illustrations like newspaper headlines, protestor signs or signs posted in shops, quotes from historical figures, illustrations of court briefs, etc. to support understanding of what was going on (e.g., McCarthyism, Jim Crow, Equal Rights Amendment).
While Levy and Gardner tackle harder topics like RBG using the courts to gain equal treatment for women, they also include plenty of material that may be easier (or more familiar) for their audience to understand—the loving relationship between RBG and her husband, Marty, RBG’s relationship with her own mother and with her own children, the desire to do well in school and so forth. There’s a really nice balance of harder and more familiar topics, making this book even more accessible for our students.
The Levy and Gardner team clearly have their audience in mind! THANK YOU! WELL DONE. Highly recommend for 4th through 8th grade.
BOOK TALK thoughts - In 4th through 6th grade, you might start by reading aloud Levy and Baddeley’s picture book about RBG entitled I Dissent! Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark as a way to introduce this book and book talk it before leaving in the class library to be snatched up. In 6th and 7th, you might show the trailer for the documentary RBG to get students interested in this bio – the first 15 seconds of the trailer reveal her super powers ;).
I’m a teacher and I bought this for my classroom. This kids love it! I find that every year I get more and more kids who love reading graphic novels and it’s great to find some that actually have stimulating topics (no offense to Dog Man, we do love it haha).
**To be fair if I looked at the pics they provided previously I would have known this** I am very disappointed that the only colors in this are white/grey/red. When I think of graphic novels I think of color! If you are looking for a true graphic novel with color this is not the item for you.