A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Meaningful lessons about civic participation in everyday life and kids get a glimpse into the childhood of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Young readers come to understand that everyone can help build a better community -- even when you're just a kid. A note from the author speaks directly to young readers, inspiring and motivating them to do their part to make a difference, and readers learn a bit more about Sotomayor's own life.
We each have a role to play in building a better world for ourselves and others. Everyone is an important part of the community. We each have something special to give. We can be inspired by others. Women can be leaders. Everyone's vote is important. Building a better world is a big project, but we can do it when we all work together.
Positive Role Models
This book serves up strong female role models. Sonia's mom is a nurse and finds time to encourage and help others outside of her job. Sonia grows up to be the first Latina U.S. Supreme Court justice and the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Relatable women and girls play active roles in the community, helping others, executing service projects, and casting their vote in the next election.
Portrays the lives of diverse families living in a large community and working together to help one another. Diverse characters -- some are brown-skinned, Samir's mom wears a hijab, and John uses a wheelchair. The story emphasizes that are all Americans, and everyone is an important part of the community.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Just Help! How to Build a Better World, by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, is the follow-up to her New York Times best-selling Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, and Be You. Generosity proves contagious in this personal portrait of community service, and it teaches kids about civic participation in everyday life. Vividly illustrated by Angela Dominguez, this meaningful book is inspired by Sotomayor's own childhood and honors the memory of her mother, who challenged her each day to help those around her by asking her "How will you help today?" It's a terrific picture book for families to read together as it's sure to spark engaging dialogue on ways to help others. The book closes with Sotomayor asking young readers, "How will you help today?"
Is It Any Good?
Author Sonia Sotomayor continues to inspire us with her journey, and in this lively picture book she wonderfully captures the energy and joy of giving to others. In Just Help! How to Build a Better World, beautifully illustrated by Angela Dominguez, the first Latina justice on the U.S. Supreme Court shares some of her fondest childhood memories and shows how we can each do our part to help make the world a better place. Young readers will walk away understanding that it's often the little things each of us do every day that can have the biggest impact and ultimately improve our communities.
A letter to readers is included at the beginning of the book and shares the backstory for this book, including details about the author's childhood, her mother's own life of service, and insight into how Sotomayor found different ways to participate in civic life and help her community through a career in law. Her letter also encourages kids to make a difference, even asks them the same question her mom asked her daily: "How will you help today?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.