Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sonia Sotomayor

Working in a school with a diverse student population has made me more aware of a few things. One of those is the need for Hispanic role models for my students.  I am constantly looking for books to provide these models for them.

Last year I bought Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter to add to my biography collection.  I love that this book is bilingual, with both English and Spanish text on each page.  Sotomayor has achieved a great deal in her life and this biography chronicles how her upbringing in a poor Bronx neighborhood and the death of her father at the age of nine impacted her, yet gave her a great drive to succeed. Her diagnosis of diabetes as a child also made her aware of her own health and she became conscientious about her diet as well as more driven to acccomplish things.

This winter My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor was published. In this memoir, Sotomayor provides a candid look at her life. It was interesting to hear from Sotomayor herself, and her voice in this memoir proved that she is truly a down to earth woman.  Her beginnings were humble; her mother going to nursing school after Sonia's father's death in order to provide for her children.  The major events that were shared in the picture book of her life were also shared in her memoir, but with more depth and hearing it from Sotomayor herself made it more meaningful to me.
There were plenty of things I didn't know about this important woman:
* that she is Puerto Rican by descent
* that she suffers from diabetes
* she is a Princeton grad
* Although married and divorced she has no children of her own
* She grew up as an avid reader
Sotomayor's memoir ends before her appointment to the United States Supreme Court, a choice she chose to make in the writing of her memoir. 
Children should learn about this remarkable woman and be inspired themselves to work toward their goals, no matter the obstacles that may arise.  Despite the fact that I knew about Sonia Sotomayor, I didn't truly know her until after reading My Beloved World. I now realize that Sotomayor is a woman I can truly respect and admire.

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