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

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  194 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The life and career of the fiercely principled Supreme Court Justice, now a popular icon, with dramatic accounts of herlandmark 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 accountof RBG’s life—childhood, family,
Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Clarion Books
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great way to introduce younger readers to RBG.
I think this is a far cry from being a biography that features her dissenting opinions, rather the book's insides need to be flipped outside because it's a book about court cases in which they make it to the Supreme Court and somehow connect to RBG and then Ortiz takes a short break from the regularly-scheduled program to talk about RBG's life.

The biographical information isn't anything that hasn't been covered in other high-profile books, yet the cases are the feature and curious especially to
Suzanne Dix
More than a biography, this in-depth look at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg parallels the events of her life that have led to the decisions she has made in several high-profile court cases. Each chapter features a case that came before her, like Cincinnatian Jim Oberfefell’s fight to collect spousal benefits after the death of his partner. Ruth and her husband Marty understood well how essential it was to balance roles within a marriage, regardless of societal norms. Ruth and Marty ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A biography that weaves between chronicling Ginsburg's life with assorted cases she has been on (either as judge or lawyer), usually managing to find cases that reflect on that period of her life. Many of the cases involve kids and or school systems, heightening the interest for the demographic.

It's very much a cheerleading book -- the prose takes for granted that Ginsburg's views on freedom and justice are true and right, and then even when she is dissenting she is pointing toward the brighter
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
This book was organized by court case/topic like free speech, equal rights, etc. Perhaps half of the book was on the way the courts work and various court cases. Because of the format, the book jumps around in Ginsburg's life. The court cases don't happen in a chronological fashion either.

If you are looking for a straight biography of Ginsburg, this isn't it. If you are interested in how the law works and how a savvy justice made her career, you would be more interested. I listened to this book
Abby Johnson
This biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cleverly weaves biographical information with court cases she argued or heard during her time as a lawyer, judge, and justice. Significant cases are selected that lead into information about Ginsburg's childhood, school years, married life, etc.

Hand this one to teens interested in learning more about this famous woman and/or readers who enjoy books about strong women like TEN DAYS A MADWOMAN (about Nellie Bly), etc.
Rachel Sharpe
Format made it difficult to follow. Each chapter started with a case in which RBG was involved, and the author tried to tie that case back to parts of her life. It made for a non-linear biography that was difficult to follow and slightly repetitive.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This reviews the hardback version. ISBN 9780544973640
In ten chapters, each highlighting an important Supreme Court case and a segment of Ginsburg’s life, teen readers will get a primer on the US Constitution in a friendly style with lots to pique their interest. Each chapter opens with the case, switching midway to events in Ginsburg’s biography that are relevant to it, intersperse black-and-white photos and details of Ginsburg’s life. The first three cases involve teens, (a 13-year-old girl who
Shauna Yusko
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
3 1/2

Photo quality okay in print copy!

Interesting construct. Straightforward intro to RBG and Supreme Court cases of interest to teens.

Had to wait until I saw final print copy.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually a fan of non-fiction, but I really enjoyed learning more about Ruth Bader Ginsburg's work through this book. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know a whole lot about her before reading this, but after hearing about some of the cases she helped to win and some of the laws she helped to pass, I find myself really looking up to her and feeling empowered as a woman. Because this book is non-fiction and not very long, this will be a short review, but I wanted to share my thoughts here ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Dissenter on the Bench," by Victoria Ortiz, is an entertaining and informative overview of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life and work. The book opens with Ortiz presenting the case of Savana Lee Redding, a thirteen-year-old who was an honor student in an Atlanta school in 2003. Much to her horror, two of Savana's classmates falsely accused her of distributing drugs. As a result, at the direction of the assistant principal, not only did school authorizes go through Savana's personal possessions, but ...more
Jan Lynch
What an engaging way to be introduced to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Victoria Ortiz's background as an attorney, translator, and high school teacher shines through her clear, accessible prose. Her knowledge of law is evident. Her deft explanations make complex legal issues easy to understand. In her apt word choices, her understanding of which details to include for interest and which to discard, her decisions about which matters require detailed explanation, one can see her experience translating and ...more
Ruth Bader Ginsburg made for an interesting subject. The incredible amount of hard work she's put into all aspects of her life is inspiring even if you don't agree with her stances or rulings on everything. The author starts each chapter highlighting a case from her career that was of great importance to her development as an attorney or judge or highlights particularly strong beliefs. After describing the case and giving some information about how Ginsburg became involved with it, the author ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent look at RBG's life done by focusing on various court cases in which she was involved, as either a lawyer or a judge. It begins with a teenage girl who was subjected to an unwarranted strip search at her middle school, whose case went before Ginsberg's Supreme Court. Each chapter of the book tells of a new case and the background of the discrimination involved, and then brings in the next phase of Ginsberg's life and ties that to the case. It is very well done and a fascinating way ...more
Erin Cataldi
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Not 100% linear and not exactly groundbreaking; but still a wonderful introduction to Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life and work. Not only does it highlight RBG's work as a supreme court judge, but it also paints a broad picture of all the landmark cases that she worked on as a lawyer for the ACLU , as a law professor, and as US Court of Appeals judge. This book's primary audience will be tweens and teens, but could also get reluctant adult readers a good overview. Filled with pictures, court cases, ...more
Mrs. Kenyon
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Dissenter on the Bench is the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg that is a must-listen for people of all ages. Ortiz chronicles RBG’s childhood, education, marriage, and career over several decades while also including details about some of her more life-changing cases as a lawyer and a judge. Larsen’s narration is dramatic yet not distracting which enables the listener to lose themselves in the larger story even if they are not normally fans of legal stories or non-fiction. This book shows that the ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This book is a well written and attention keeping combination of cases and life events involving Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Aimed at YA readers, there are explanations of legal terms and how the court system works when necessary. I've read books about and by RBG and this is an excellent intro to her life and the cases she has worked. The author seems to have chosen cases to highlight that involved people young readers would relate to and issues they would find relevant. There is ...more
Dave Weathers
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Nothing against RBG, just didn't care for the layout of the book. It presents one of her cases and tries to (at times loosely) tie it back to some event in her upbringing. There doesn't seem to be any order to the cases and the stories they are tied back to don't give a chronological progression of her bio. The author ends up selling RBG short by defaulting to her praise and setting up opposing views as straw-men. Any case making its way in the supreme court is inherently controversial, so ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was a nice little overview of Ginsburg's life and work. When I grabbed it at the library, I didn't realize it was aimed for teens it seems, so it wasn't as thorough as expected. Also, some of the descriptions seemed a little too dumbed down or told the reader what conclusions to make rather than letting the reader form their own opinion. I understand it is made for teens, but I feel that teens are more than capable of forming their own opinions and not being told how to feel about ...more
Each chapter focuses on an aspect of Justice Ginsberg's life and how it ties to her decisions as a lawyer, judge, and Supreme Court Justice.
I loved this book. I am normally not a huge NonFiction or Biography fan, but this one is written in the narrative style and so it is easy to follow along and enjoy. I think students from middle grade and up would enjoy this read. Some of the cases it discusses and RBG's stance and reasoning behind her decisions, was truly eye-opening to read.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detailed and informative biography of RBG for young readers. The author interweaves RBG’s life story with various cases she was involved in as a lawyer, judge, or justice. The short length means this is not an in-depth biography, but it is a good introduction for young readers. The author’s deep respect for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is evident on every page. Recommended for middle and early high school students.
AJ Conroy
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
A non-linear approach to exploring Ginsburg's legal legacy. Interesting because it focuses as much on the people in the cases as it does on the Justice herself, but not a good place to start if this is your introduction. This book is poorly constructed, and could have been great with a good editor.
Abbey Pasquence
Ortiz pairs cases Justice Ginsburg worked on with stories from Ginsburg's life to illustrate how she came to be a powerhouse for equality and justice. The writing skews more toward middle grades at times, and speaks about Ginsburg in the past tense making for an almost ominous feel about a woman still very much alive.
Rachel Hoople
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I would like to say 5 s for content; I mean, RBG (enough said). However, the attempt at artfully flashing back and forth from RBG's life to court cases made the flow of the information sort of jumbled and confusing. I appreciate the attempt and the information chosen fit the layout, but the execution leaves much to be desired. ...more
Hanna Belle
A little too short to my taste for a biography about one of history’s most important figures but this is meant for a middle-school reader level. The chapters were confusing as they went between actual cases RBG heard and her personal life without a clear transition. Good for those who are just starting to learn about her but insufficient for those who have extensive knowledge of her.
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and work. I liked that different court cases were covered in between sections about her life. These court cases really illustrated the importance of her work throughout her legal career. I definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in her life and work, or anyone who is interested in the legal system in general.
Each chapter of the book featured a court case that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had worked on as a lawyer, judge, or justice. The court case was then connected back to events in Justice Ginsburg's life. While I enjoyed learning more about the court cases, I wished the book had been told chronologically. The nonlinear style made it difficult to follow. I also found the book repetitive, particularly toward the end. Overall, I enjoyed the book's content but not the structure—3 stars.
Dobie9 Library
This is one of Ms. McCalla's TOP NonFiction READs for 2019! Each chapter focuses on an aspect of Justice Ginsberg's life and how it ties to her decisions as a lawyer, judge, and Supreme Court Justice.
*Available in the D9 Library, Fall 2019
I really like how the author told not only RBG's story but also gave background information not people involved in cases she either tried or was judge for. Showed the impact her life has had and continues to have.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, but it read like a textbook and I couldn’t get into it at all. I did enjoy that each chapter was connected to a Supreme Court case where RBG voted for one of the values she always upheld, but just too much was textbook-like so I couldn’t finish.
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Victoria Ortiz graduated from Barnard College and the City University of New York Law School. She has worked as a high school teacher, as a college teacher, as an attorney, and as dean of students at several law schools. Her published work includes Spanish for Lawyers (2012), a unique manual for law students and lawyers who need to discuss legal matters in this useful language. Now retired, Ms. ...more