Little People, Big Dreams: Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Judit Orosz
Having not been afforded the same opportunities as her bother, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s mother was determined to make sure that her own daughter was given every chance to succeed in life. And Ruth was damn sure that she would not let her mother down. Driven by an unfair system that treated men and women differently, Ruth’s passion for equal citizens with equal rights burnt bright. And with knowledge of the constitution and a clear sense of purpose, Ruth was unstoppable…
This wasn’t the first time that I was picking up one of the fabulous Little People, Big Dreams titles without having a great deal of knowledge about the person. With Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara I was in safe hands as she expertly distils a wonderful and important life into a child-friendly biography that informed and educated this adult reader, as it will any child that is fortunate enough to pick up this book.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg lived a long and important life that has left a lasting legacy. Best known for her service as a Supreme Court judge, she has become a much lauded public figure following her death in 2020. However, there’s much more to Ruth’s story and you need to go back several decades because she was making waves and demanding changes long before taking a seat in the highest court in the United States.
Her mother wanted her to be ‘her own independent self’ and Ruth more than lived up to this expectation. She excelled at everything she did - at university, as a law professor, as a judge of the Supreme Court - but her life was not without its struggles. Her mother died when she was young, gender inequality was rife and there were numerous obstacles to be overcome but Ruth was determined to fulfil a promise to her mother and true to her word she rose to the top. With a clear goal and focus, disappointments and tragedy can be overcome - important lessons for all children.
What I particularly love are some of the wonderful messages that come from Ruth’s story. Firstly, Ruth raised a family and had a successful career, yes girls, you can have both. Secondly, Ruth was friends with and had great respect for a fellow judge who she disagreed with - there is much to be said about having the ability to value someone else’s opinion whilst strongly disagreeing with it and then going out to the opera together.
It is a fabulous biography of an extraordinary women who was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in, who voiced her opinions and who consistently flourished in the face of adversity. I’m sure just reading this story will inspire some future legal practitioners who, like Bader Ginsburg, have things that they feel passionately about and want to fight for change.
The story is told in short and simple sentence and is delightfully illustrated with bright and bold artwork. At the back of the the book there is a short overview of her life which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
With thanks to Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for the copy that was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 5+.