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The First Latina Supreme Court Justice
Ever since we read the story of Wong Kim Ark and my children noticed that the Supreme Court at that time was “all white men, Mom!” my kids have been fascinated with books about the Supreme Court justices who don’t fit that description. We have read books on Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall, and I was very excited to find Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor herself.
As a book lover myself, I adored how Justice Sotomayor shared about her life using books as the way that she wove all the parts together. Through learning to read (both in her first language of Spanish and then eventually also in English), she was able to face her fears after a scary health diagnosis, work through grief, and eventually led her to study law and justice, and she became a Justice on the Supreme Court in 2009 after being nominated by then-President Barack Obama.
Books are Magical
I was raised on Reading Rainbow, and books were a huge part of my childhood. I never really thought about how different books impacted my life in the way that they served Justice Sotomayor throughout her formative years.
Sotomayor’s voracious reading habit was something that she started as a child that served her throughout her life. As a Supreme Court Justice now, Sotomayor reads a lot. Towards the end of the book, she explained how her job involves reading the Constitution and historical law books to help her make legal decisions.
My older son has also recently discovered a deep passion for reading books and I cannot keep putting fresh books in his hands fast enough. He thought it was really cool that he had a habit in common with a Supreme Court Justice.
We also compared a recent photo of the Supreme Court to the illustration from I am an American about Wong Kim Ark, and marveled at how much more our Supreme Court looks like a much more accurate reflection of all the people who make up America. We still have a long way to go, but there has definitely been progress.
My 8-year-old loved this book because he could connect to it. My 5-year-old thought it was a good book because “she used books to learn about being brave.”