Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Book Review of Turning Pages/ Pasando páginas by Sonia Sotomayor

BOOKS HAVE PLAYED A HUGE ROLE IN MY LIFE-when I was a kid, the likeliest place you would find me would be curled up somewhere with a book in hand and a bag of pretzels by my side. As an adult, I continue to read as much as I am able, and find myself reading many children's books as I search out ones my students will enjoy and learn from.  When Penguin Books kindly asked me if I would take part in the blog tour for Sonia Sotomayor's newest book, 'Turning Pages', I immediately said a very grateful 'YES!'.  Not only is the Supreme Court Justice an inspiration in her own right, but having the opportunity to learn more about her life in her own words, written for children like my students, is wonderful!

Turning Pages by Sonia Sotomayor Blog Tour and Book Review

'TURNING PAGES, MY LIFE STORY' is both the autobiography of the first Hispanic Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, and memoir of a life filled with books that both inspired and comforted Sotomayor. At various points while reading it I was struck by how much her story reminded me of that of Frida Kahlo, who sought solace in art as she dealt with the many challenges of her childhood. Whether books or art, each found a way to persevere in the face of tragedy and sadness, a lesson I often talk about in my Spanish classes during my theme on the artist. Sotomayor shares her diagnosis of diabetes in elementary school, and shortly thereafter the death of her father, and how reading got her through these extremely difficult periods. She goes on to tell how books influenced her perspective and ultimately her career choice; this truly is a book about the power of books as much as Sonia's life!

Turning Pages by Sonia Sotomayor Book Review

I ALSO LOVE LULU DELACRE'S ILLUSTRATIONS- they set the tone and bring to life the many stages in Sonia's life with joyful colors and beautiful renderings. Together, Sonia's story and Delacre's illustrations convey a powerful message to young children and their families reading this book- each of us has the potential to be anything, to do anything, to achieve anything! Don't miss adding this book to your home or school library- and is also available in Spanish (Pasando páginas)-you can find both on Amazon.

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.

Sonia Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York. She earned a BA from Princeton University and a JD from Yale Law School. She served as Assistant District Attorney in New York County, and then as a litigator at Pavia & Harcourt. In 1991, when President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the US District Court, Southern District of New York. In 1997, President William Jefferson Clinton nominated her to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009, becoming the first Latina to ever hold such a high position. She is the author of My Beloved World and The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor.

Lulu Delacre ( has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1980. Born and raised in Puerto Rico to Argentinean parents, Delacre is a three-time Pura Belpré Award honoree. Her thirty-eight titles include Arroz con Leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin AmericaUs, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos; and ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado/Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest.Delacre has lectured internationally, served as a juror for the National Book Awards, and exhibited her work at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, among other venues.

BRINGING CULTURE TO LIFE IN MY SPANISH CLASSES is a priority of mine, especially in the target language. As well, I believe strongly in English learners having an opportunity to read about topics from their heritage countries. To that end, I created TWO Theme Packs about Sonia Sotomayor, one in Spanish and one in English. As part of this book review, I am raffling off a digital download of each theme pack, to be sent via email once the winner is announced. To enter for a chance to win, click on one (or both!) of the following links:

Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Thursday-be sure to follow us on Twitter for the announcement @mundodepepita

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