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.
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)