Some of you may already have a bookshelf full of books about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Over the past several years, we’ve been blessed with so many of them, especially books written for children to learn about the feminist icon. On the other hand, maybe you were like me: I was worried that all these books and movies were bad luck, commemorating her while she was still alive. In either case, now is an excellent time to catch up with the RBG books for kids you may have missed.
Why is it important for children to read about Ruth Bader Ginsburg? There are more ways than we can list in this space. You can start with the fact that she came from a humble background in Brooklyn and went on to be at the top of her class at Cornell. And then continue with the fact that she was able to go through law school, first at Harvard and then at Columbia, as a new mom, and also wound up at the top of her class and on both schools’ law reviews. Those kids should also know about all the obstacles put in front of her as a young female lawyer, and about how this 5’1″ woman leaped right over those obstacles. And once she did, Ginsburg turned around and used her position to make sure other women could follow her.
Young children may not fully grasp what it is that a lawyer for the ACLU, a U.S. Appeals Court Judge, and a Supreme Court Justice does. But they can understand a person who cared about making this world a fairer place for everyone. They can certainly appreciate the idea of being determined to have your voice heard, no matter your size, gender, race, or background. That is why we think Ruth Bader Ginsburg children’s books have been so popular.
On another level, as we adults mourn the passing of this giant of social justice, it makes us feel a whole lot better to be able to make sure our kids know who Ruth Bader Ginsburg was, and what she will continue to mean for our lives after her death.
Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
Here are some of the best RBG books for kids, in order of age/reading level:
A Is for Awesome: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World, by Eva Chen
With this board book, you can introduce your little ones to Ginsburg and 22 other great women. This is an alphabet worth memorizing for sure. (Ages 1-3.)
I Look Up to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Anna Membrino
Like we said, there’s something about RBG that even the youngest children can appreciate. Membrino and illustrator Fatti Burke make it easier for you to get there, though. (Ages 2-3 years.)
No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Kathleen Krull
As inspiring as we find RBG’s life, this book’s illustrations by Nancy Zhang also make her story leap off the page for younger readers. The fight for equality is a beautiful thing, after all. (Grade level preschool-3.)
My Little Golden Book About Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Shana Corey
This books isn’t slated to be released until January 2021, when we all hoped we would simply be announcing RBG’s retirement. According to Amazon, it’s the #1 best-seller in Children’s Law & Crime Books right now — and who knew that was a category we need to know? (Ages 2-5 years.)
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg Chewed 100 Sticks of Gum, by Mark Andrew Weakland
One way to keep a kid’s attention when discussing important adult things? Remind them that all those adults were once children just like them. (Grade level 1-4.)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality, by Jonah Winter
The unfair obstacles Ginsburg faced throughout her life are presented as evidence in a court case, cleverly telling her story and teaching children a bit about how court arguments work. We are pretty sure what your kids’ verdict will be. (Grade level 1-4).
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, by Debbie Levy
This is a picture book for kids in grades 3-5 that tells RBG’s life story from the lens of the injustices she disagreed with. If it makes your kid dissent with your own rules, consider that a teaching moment for both of you. You might also consider Levy’s other biography, Becoming RBG, for grades 5-6.
Who Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Patricia Brennan Demuth
Though this follows the standard format of the Who Was biography book series, you know there’s nothing standard about a bio of RBG. Wow, it hurts to think about that “Is” changing to “Was.” (Grade level 3-7.)
Notorious RBG: The Life & Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Young Readers Edition, by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnick
The creators of the Notorious Tumblr and memes first made their work into a book for adults. We’re glad that they decided younger readers also needed to know what a badass she was, even if they don’t get the Biggie reference. (Grade level 3-7.)
While you’re adding to that book list, consider these beautiful children’s books by Black authors.