Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Biographies To Savor


        Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From Alyson and others, you will discover terrific nonfiction picture books!

         If ever we need the integrity and beliefs of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that time has come. How fortunate I am to have read these two biographies of her recently. 

          Jonah Winter highlights the prejudice that Justice Ginsburg has faced all her life, sometimes even as a justice! Illustrations help highlight important events through her life that were unjust, yet this woman resisted and persisted when she could to clear away discriminatory practices, to ensure women's equal pay, to combat discrimination against African Americans, to fight for the right of gay couples to marry. There is a glossary and additional information in the back matter. For students just beginning research into the Supreme Court or of Justice Ginsburg's life, this is a great beginning text. 


          I've known of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg all my life and celebrated her victories and opinions, but this book offers so much more information. Her life full of dissenting for equal rights will both surprise and please children who first read this history, and hopefully will inspire them to discover more about the inequality that has been part of our history and is still happening today. There is added back matter that gives more information about Justice Ginsberg.
         There are so many stories of immigrants trying to get to America, and often they are about a flight to save lives, wanting to stay, but needing to go. Michelle Brisson tells Hedy's story with love, for Hedy is her mother! There is some sadness because Hedy had to say goodbye to a cousin, knowing that she will not survive. There is underlying tension caused by pieces that show Jews are being discriminated against, like Hedy's father, a jeweler, being named "the king of the Jewish diamond dealers." And there is the decision that has to be made for Hedy to travel alone after her parents and brother leave because of lack of a ticket. Other problems arise like the plans for the boat that was to take them to America was canceled because the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. They lost that money too. At the back, there are family photos showing Hedy young, then older with her family in America and a map of their long travels to escape. El primo Ramon's illustrations in muted grays and browns with a hint of color create the effect of a long-ago story. They're serious, but not alarming. This will be a good book to introduce the plight of those fleeing the Nazis. 

10 comments:

  1. I didn't know about the last one. RBG is such an icon!

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    1. Both included similar, and different information, Earl. Enjoy the one new to you!

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  2. I didn't know about Hedy's Journey, either, but have now suggested our library order it. I'm excited to read the new RBG book, especially, as you suggest, next to I Dissent.

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    1. Hedy's Journey was a nice discovery at my library, Annette. It's wonderful that authors are telling the stories of the plight of their families. This new RBG book is great.

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  3. I need to find Winter's RBG biography. I really liked Levy's last year. I thought it was a great mentor text for a biography.

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    1. It would be wonderful to use them both, each unique to the author's approach.

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  4. I hadn't heard of Hedy's Journal, but it sounds so poignant and beautiful.

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    1. It is a good story, Jane. I just discovered it as I browsed at the library!

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  5. I already own a copy of I Dissent but haven't read the other PBB of Ruth Bader Ginsburg yet - I have just stacked in my TO-Read List in Goodreads. Thanks, dear Linda!

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    1. You're welcome, Myra. The book by Jonah Winter is similar but does add some content. I hope you enjoy it.

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