The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor

8 CDs. 9:09 hrs. Listening Library. Sept. 2018. ISBN 9780525636007. $60. digital download.
RedReviewStarGr 5–8—Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor infuses this adaptation from her adult memoir (My Beloved World) with optimism, perseverance, and doses of humor. Sotomayor begins at her family's Bronx tenement with her daily shots of insulin and the loving but troubled relationships with Mami, Papi, and her extended Puerto Rican family. Spanish was spoken at home, money was always tight, and, until his early death, Papi's drinking was a constant worry on young Sonia's mind. Around fifth grade Sotomayor begins to look forward to school, and finds her niche in high school logic classes and on the debate team. A combination of natural ability, diligent study, and people skills take her to Princeton, Yale Law School, the New York District Attorney's Office, and eventually, judge's chambers. Sotomayor doesn't gloss over the toll 12-hour days took on her personal life, but her enthusiasm for the legal world shines through. The book ends with her appointment to the U.S. district court in Manhattan, with her Supreme Court appointment mentioned in the epilogue. Narrator Jaina Lee Ortiz catches the lilt of Sotomayor's voice, especially in the Spanish phrases sprinkled throughout.
VERDICT A wonderful addition to any middle grade or YA biography collection.

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