This biography is a well-written, heavily researched look into the path that Elena Kagan took throughout her life to get to the position of Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. As part of the Greenwood Biography series, this book chronicles her life from her New York childhood to her days at Princeton to her work at Harvard, and follows her all the way to the Supreme Court. The writing style is extremely informative, however it can feel a bit dry at times. There is a large amount of background information about the neighborhoods that Elena lived in and the schools that she attended. This creates a full, rich context for young readers who may not be familiar with the neighborhoods or schools. At the end of each chapter there are extensive notes. A timeline, bibliography, and index are also included. This book will most likely be used by students for research as opposed to casual reading. Her bat-mitzvah and her connection to Judaism are discussed. Justice Kagan is a definite role model for young Jewish women and they will enjoy learning about her. Recommended for ages 12 – 18.
Elena Kagan: A Biography
Debbie Feder is currently the Director of the LRC at Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago. She has her Masters in Library and Information Science from Dominican University. She has spent more than ten years introducing children and young adults to literature and information literacy at schools and public libraries. She is the author of Jelly Bean’s Art Museum Adventure and is honored to have been a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee.
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