September Non-fiction

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells her own story for young readers for the very first time!

As the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor has inspired young people around the world to reach for their dreams. But what inspired her? For young Sonia, the answer was books! They were her mirrors, her maps, her friends, and her teachers. They helped her to connect with her family in New York and in Puerto Rico, to deal with her diabetes diagnosis, to cope with her father’s death, to uncover the secrets of the world, and to dream of a future for herself in which anything was possible.

In Turning Pages, Justice Sotomayor shares that love of books with a new generation of readers, and inspires them to read and puzzle and dream for themselves. Accompanied by Lulu Delacre’s vibrant art, this story of the Justice’s life shows readers that the world is full of promise and possibility–all they need to do is turn the page.

In this adaptation for middle graders based on her bestselling adult memoir, My Beloved World, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor’s extraordinary life inspires. Her achievement serves as a true testament to the fact that no matter the obstacles, dreams can come true.

Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, was a young girl when she dared to dream big. Her dream? To become a lawyer and a judge.

As Justice Sotomayor explains, “When I was a child my family was poor and we knew no lawyers or judges and none lived in our neighborhood. I knew nothing about the Supreme Court and how much its work in reinterpreting the Constitution and the laws of the United States affected peoples’ lives. You cannot dream of becoming something you don’t even know about. That has been the most important lesson of my life. You have to learn to dream big dreams.”

Sonia did not let the hardships of her background–which included growing up in the rough housing projects of New York City’s South Bronx, dealing with juvenile diabetes, coping with parents who argued and fought personal demons, and worrying about money–stand in her way. Always, she believed in herself. Her determination, along with guidance from generous mentors and the unwavering love of her extended Puerto Rican family, propelled her ever forward.

In this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed bestselling Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson delves deep into the broken U.S. justice system, detailing from his personal experience his many challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America’s most rejected and marginalized people.

In this very personal work–proceeds of which will go to charity–Bryan Stevenson recounts many and varied stories of his work as a lawyer in the U.S. criminal justice system on behalf of those in society who have experienced some type of discrimination and/or have been wrongly accused of a crime and who deserve a powerful advocate and due justice under the law.

Through the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization Stevenson founded as a young lawyer and for which he currently serves as Executive Director, this important work continues. EJI strives to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

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From the Family Bookshelf

It doesn’t seem possible that three weeks has passed since my July From the Family Bookshelf post, but it has. We celebrated the Lil Diva’s birthday yesterday by adding another furry creature to our crazy home. She had been asking for a kitten for a few years and I finally broke down and decided it would be okay to add a little kitty to this chaos. Well, except that I doubled my trouble by letting the Lil Princess adopt one too. As of tomorrow there will be five cats and four people living here.

I swear summer just started, but the girls return to school in 14 weekdays. The Lil Princess met her goal for the library’s “Go Green” summer reading program. In addition to the many weekly prizes she received, both girls got to attend a roller skating party to celebrate the readers who met their goals. It won’t surprise me if the Lil Princess decides to do it again next year.

While I won’t list the 27 books she read, the last couple were The Adventure of Oliver the Clownfish books by Stephanie Guzman, which we reviewed here.

Dad came home from North Carolina reading Vince Flynn’s The Third Option. This is a counterterrorism thriller. I like these kinds of books too, but they’re not my favorite. He’s still reading this one. He hopes maybe this weekend he might get more than five minutes to sit down with it.

The Lil Diva is trying to hold onto summertime play by not reading. Regular reading will pick up as soon as she starts school, so I’m not too worried.

I, on the other hand, have been a reading wizard. If you stop by The Book Connection, you’ll see I’ve posted several reviews. This list doesn’t include any books I mentioned in July’s post:

Drawing Strength from the Names of God by Catherine Martin (Christian living)

Drawn to the Land: The Romance of Farming by Elizabeth and Barton Cockey (historical nonfiction picture book)

The Big Ten of Grammar by William B. Bradshaw, PhD (reference)

For the King by Catherine Delors (historical novel set in Napoleonic Paris)

A Woman’s Heart That Dances: Keeping in Step with God’s Design for You by Catherine Martin

My reviews for When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty by Jackie M. Johnson (Christian relationship book) and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey (memoir) by Diana M. Raab will be posted at The Book Connection on August 17th and 24th, respectively. I am currently reading Paula Deen’s Savannah Style and The Chill of Night by James Hayman.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest edition of From the Family Bookshelf. Until next time, keep reading!