Non-Fiction Monday: Sonia Sotomayor; Supreme Court Justice

Sonia Sotomayor; Supreme Court Justice is the latest book by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. The journey of a young girl growing up  in the projects near Yankee Stadium to becoming the third woman as a Supreme Court Justice  is told in flowing free verse by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. (her interview HERE)

What I like in this biography is the role both parents, particularly Sotomayor’s mother  played in developing an “I Can Do It” attitude within her.  Readers are introduced to baby Sonia in a poem, “As American as Mango Pie”, followed by other poems that introduce her parents and life in the Bronx. 

Sonia discovers that her has juvenile diabetes in third grade but it doesn’t stop her from rising above this new challenge as well as the challenge of learning to read.

When her father dies unexpectantly from a heart attack,  Sonia’s mother takes on two jobs and begins school to become a nurse.  The importance of education and learning for the Sotomayor family is evident in several poems: “Working Weekends”, “Studying at Home” and “Studying with Mami”.   Her mother was such a guiding person for Sonia and is reflected many lines throughout the book:

 “I am half the woman she is.”
“I am all I am because of her.”
“…if it hadn’t been for Mami.”
and when presented as the nominee:
“I stand on the shoulders of countless people,
yet there’s an extraordinary person who is my life’s inspiration.
That person is my mother, Celine Sotomayor.”

Each poem in the book takes the reader one step closer to the arrival of her nomination for Supreme Court Justice.  She is as Grand writes
“Sonia Sotomayor,
as American as mango pie,
is the first Latina Justice
to be elected to the Supreme Court
of the United States.”

The book includes an appendix with detailed biographical notes, a glossary of the wonderful Puerto Rican/Spanish words, sources,and a timeline.  The illutrations by Thomas Gonzalez compliment the text.

This book can be used on many different levels, from telling the story of one of our Justices, a book to demonstrate free verse, or to be read around Mother’s Day in honor of all moms who support the dreams of their children.

Title: Sonia Sotomayor; Supreme Court Justice
Author: Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
Illustrator: Thomas Gonzalez
Date Published: 2010
Pages: 48
Reading Level: All Ages
Publisher: MarshallCavendish Children
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5795-4
Source of Book: Copy from the author.

Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Roberta at Wrapped in Foil