44pp, color

8in x 12in
Juvenile Nonfiction: Biography

6 to 10
February 2020







Age Range:



Download Curriculum Guide

    “It is a rare life treat for a Supreme Court Justice to get to meet a  framer of a Constitution. It is rarer indeed for that framer to have been a woman. More importantly, however, Beate helped teach me how to live fully in two cultures and make both my home.”

    — Justice Sonia Sotomayor,  April 23, 2013

No Steps Behind:

Beate Sirota Gordon's Battle for

Women's Rights in Japan

By Jeff Gottesfeld

Illustrated by Shiella Witanto

    Beate Sirota came to Japan as a young girl, learning its language, customs, and traditions. She loved her adopted country. When an extraordinary convergence of circumstances gave her the chance, she dared to do the unthinkable — write a clause for the new national constitution guaranteeing women equal rights.


    “Gordon's story is a remarkable tribute to the value of bilingualism, cross-cultural competency, and courageous commitment to justice. . . The richly colored paintings uplift the story, conveying strong emotion and drama through expressive facial expressions and varied perspectives. Valuable and inspiring.”

    — Kirkus

    “Beate's amazing story reminds us that each of us — regardless of age, gender, or where you were born — has the power to make a profound difference in the lives of others.”

    — Karen Blumenthal, author of Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX


    “A truly inspiring story about the power of one woman's hope and determination in the face ofentrenched patriarchy. Beate's fierce intelligence and independent spirit shine through each page.”

    — Misa Sugiura, winner of the 2017-2018 Asian Pacific American Librarian Association Award

    “Many of my students are from other countries. How inspiring for them to see how you can have a positive impact on an adopted country!”

    — Leslie Ann Hynes, elementary school librarian