Ketanji Brown Jackson: Justice for All by Tami Charles, illustrated by Jemma Skidmore

Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Summary:  “Every dream begins with the smallest step.”  A young girl visits the Supreme Court Building with her mother, where they see statues of the 115 justices, only six of them women, and none of those women Black…until now.  The story of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s life is told, along with the story of the ancestors who lived in Africa, then were enslaved and forced to come to America.  There’s also the story of her parents, who attended segregated schools and became the first in their families to graduate from college.  Important civil rights cases and other Black female lawyers and judges that helped Ketanji get to the Supreme Court are woven into the narrative.  “And now,” says the girl, “because of them, because of her, I know one day I will and certainly can!”.  Includes an author’s note with additional information, a list of important dates, and facts about the important people and history shown in the art.  40 pages; grades K-5.

Pros:  Like All Rise by Carole Boston Weatherford, this picture book biography of Ketanji Brown Jackson shows not only her own hard work and determination to overcome racist and sexist obstacles, but also the people who came before her that made her rise possible.  The poetic text and illustrations convey big ideas but are presented in ways that make them easily understood by younger readers.

Cons:  While the author’s note mentions how she was inspired by a photo of Brown’s daughter Leila Jackson looking at her mother with loving pride, the photo is not in the book.

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