Sonia Sotomayor: U.S. Supreme Court Justice

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heather N. Kolich
The bright, cheery cover of this "Groundbreaker" series title opens to a funereal interior. Wide, black or grey page margins, numerous black pages with white text, and a few solid grey pages provide the backdrop for 103 pages of black and white photos. Fortunately, the writing has more life, although some of the language is slangy (" . . . she had proven her chops . . .", p. 14), leading (implies that Republicans do not value freedom, pp. 61-2; defines pro-life organizations as "groups that don't want women to have abortions," p. 76), ironic (Sotomayor joined a Puerto Rican student group at Princeton, then wrote letters accusing the university of discrimination because they did not admit Mexican and Puerto Rican students, pp. 34-5), accusatory (Van Tol slings a wide accusation of sexism against all who opposed Sotomayor's nomination and at Republican senators in particular, p. 81), and incorrect (claims Supreme Court decisions are irrevocable, p. 9—The Supreme Court can overturn its own rulings). While covering Sotomayor's youth, family, college days at Princeton and Yale, and career leading up to The Supreme Court appointment, the eight chapters also cover a globe-trot of other things, including: the history and function of The Supreme Court, Hispanic versus Latino ethnicity, Puerto Ricans as a "unique American group," diabetes, the history and changing cultural climate of housing projects in New York, and a description of what a "board" (of governors, trustees, etc.) does. Topical insets interrupt the flow of chapters, requiring much page flipping. The story shifts to present tense in chapter 7 as Sotomayor joins The Supreme Court. The text brightens, literally, in the end matter, where the chronology, glossary, further information section, and index are printed on white pages. Reviewer: Heather N. Kolich
VOYA - Peggy Fleming
A new series from Crabtree Books, Groundbreaker Biographies, includes sport figures, fashion designers, political activists and government figures. Two of the biographies are about Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic Supreme Court judge, and Dolores Huerta, a Latino activist who helped to unionize migrant workers. Both are very engaging chronicles of the hardships they endured and overcame in order to make a difference in the lives of others; they stress the successes they achieved in the face of poverty and discrimination. Sonia Sotomayor felt isolated at Princeton University as one of only a few Hispanics. She convinced the college to hire more minority staff and enroll more minority students. Dolores Huerta was criticized as a woman activist for spending too much time speaking out for the voiceless migrant workers at the expense of caring for her home and children. She relied on the help of her mother and relatives while she criss-crossed the country lobbying for health benefits and better wages for migrant farm workers. Van Tol, author of both of these biographies, provides historical background that explains the culture of the times that either helped or hindered these women's rise to prominence. Each page has either a photograph or an insert repeating a sentence from the text to stress an important point. Terminology connected to the career of these two women is explained in understandable vocabulary. The value of hard work, appreciation for parental sacrifices for their children, pride in one's heritage—all are stressed throughout both books. A glossary, a chronology, and annotated web sites help students writing research papers on these groundbreaking men and women. Reviewer: Peggy Fleming
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778725466
  • Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: Crabtree Groundbreaker Biographies
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 1,430,899
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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