#WomenReadWomen2019 Books Early Readers Features Genre Lifespan of a Reader Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes Warrior Women and Social Justice

[Nonfiction Wednesday] Books As Maps To Guide One To Justice

A picturebook biography of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Myra here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2019 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.

When I learned about this book from fellow kidlit enthusiasts who also join Nonfiction Wednesday, I immediately requested my institution’s library to purchase a copy, and I am so glad I did. It is indeed perfect for our current reading theme.


Turning Pages: My Life Story

Written by Sonia Sotomayor Illustrated by Lulu Delacre
Published by Philomel Books (2018).
ISBN: 0525514082 (ISBN13: 9780525514084)
Borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos taken by me.

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina to serve as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court. I was deeply moved by how her entire life story is an ode to books and learning and reading.

Over and above the passion for reading is the romance with words. This is something that the young Sonia breathed in as part of her family’s world, and embodied so beautifully by her Abuelita who would recite poems aloud in Spanish “written long ago about the tropical land our family had left behind.”

There were so many things about her life story that resonated with me – not the least of which would be her mother purchasing a set of encyclopedia which opened the young girl’s eyes to the world. I remember my parents purchasing a similar set – the Collier’s Encyclopedia and the Charlie Brown Encyclopedia set and the Childcraft one which I devoured.

She also spoke about eating mangoes by hand and sipping juice straight from the coconut, and reading during naptime – these are things I did in my own tropical country, the Philippines, when I was a child. She described how I spent my afternoons perfectly. I loved all the artwork depicting the young Sonia reading. I would have loved it even more if the endpapers which depicted actual photographs of Sonia and her family and her work also included her being surrounded by books.

What makes this book such a good fit for our current reading theme is how Sonia Sotomayor eventually perceived books as an ultimate guide to justice, a means of highlighting social injustices and how they can be put to right.

This is an inspiring tale that is raw and truthful and heartfelt. What an awesome tribute to the many books that have crossed her path, and shaped a female Supreme Court Justice’s life story.


#WomenReadWomen2019: Country – United States of America (both author and illustrator are from Puerto Rico)

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Singapore. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she serves as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads or meeting up with her book club friends, she is smashing that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life.

1 comment on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] Books As Maps To Guide One To Justice

  1. I agree, it’s a terrific book. I love how you made your own connections to Justice Sotomayor, Myra. This is why it’s important to get these books into the hands of young women! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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