Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a pioneer for gender equality, a tireless defender of human rights, and a highly skilled jurist. Just the second woman named to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ginsburg’s dedication to the law, sharp intellect, and commitment to excellence contributed to her becoming a legal, cultural, and feminist icon.
In the wake of the 87-year-old’s recent death, I’ve compiled some of the best books about and by the late Justice. Whether you’re looking for books for the youngest readers in your family or for yourself, read on to discover 11 books about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her incredible legacy.
“Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.”
-Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
In My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mary Hartnett, and Wendy W. Williams
There’s perhaps no better place to start than In My Own Words. You’ll find a comprehensive compilation of Ginsburg’s writings on gender inequality, her Jewish culture, and the Supreme Court’s inner workings, among other topics. Divided into five sections, readers will learn about Ginsburg’s early years, her professional career, her thoughts on the Supreme Court, and Ginsburg’s tributes to prominent lawmakers.
Conversations with RBG offers a sweeping yet intimate look at Justice Ginsburg’s life and views. Rosen’s long friendship with Ginsburg informs the work. Their discussions of legal issues, Ginsburg’s career, and their shared passion for the arts leave readers feeling like they were part of the conversation.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
This book features an excellent compilation of interviews, essays, annotated dissents, photographs, and graphics that help explain Ginsburg’s illustrious career. Notorious RBG was featured in the critically acclaimed PBS documentary RBG for its research and engaging tone.
Notorious RBG Young Readers‘ Edition: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
Searching for something like Notorious RBG but for younger readers? Look no further than the Young Readers’ Edition. Geared towards readers 8–12 years old, this fun and informative book is a great place to start when discussing the Notorious RBG.
In Defense of Justice: The Greatest Dissents of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Edited and Annotated for the Non-Lawyer by Sarah Wainwright
Ginsburg often offered dissenting opinions to the Court’s rulings and this book compiles several of her greatest legal essays. Pick up In Defense of Justice if you’d like a front row seat to Ginsburg’s passion, intelligence, and legal insight.
The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong…and You Can Too! by Bryant Johnson
Ginsburg committed to a twice-weekly workout, even in her 80s. She was famously petite, but in this book her personal trainer attests to her strength and commitment to fitness. If you want to challenge yourself to her personal workouts, check this one out.
I Look Up To…Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Anna Membrino and Fatti Burke
This board book is a great way to introduce youngest readers to Ginsburg’s words and legacy. Each colorful spread offers a quote from RBG herself.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley
I love this book for how it shows that even as a child, Ginsburg was thoughtful, original, and a leader. Children will be able to see themselves in her story—one that famously takes Ruth all the way to the Supreme Court.
The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Biography Book for New Readers by Susan B. Katz
This easy-to-follow chapter book is perfect for elementary age students. It’s bright, engaging, and full of interesting information about Ginsburg’s life and career. The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn’t shy away from the serious topics Ginsburg tackled; instead, it presents them in a way that children can understand and learn from.
Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy and Whitney Gardner
To many, Justice Ginsburg was a superhero. Her story is fittingly told then in the graphic novel, Becoming RBG. Middle grade readers will appreciate how the illustrations and occasional pops of color bring RBG’s story to life.
Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work by Victoria Ortiz
This award-winning book is geared towards students in grades 7–9. Ortiz weaves several important cases of Ginsburg’s career into the narrative of her life. Photographs and detailed source notes make this an engaging and informative read.
Looking for more inspiring, feminist reads? Check out 5 Biographies of Women Politicians You Need to Read Now, 5 Children’s Book About Latina Trailblazers, and 8 Books to Read if You Cheered When Pelosi Took the Gavel Back.