A thoughtful introduction to both the power of reading and an inspiring role model.

The Supreme Court justice shares how books, reading, and words have shaped her life.

“My story is a story about books—of poems and comics, of law and mystery, of science and science fiction—written both in Spanish and in English.” So starts this book written with Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s voice clearly felt yet also very accessible to her target audience. The author recalls her first encounter with the power of words, hearing her abuelita recite poems about Puerto Rico, her island home. Comic books about people with superpowers fueled her bravery as she coped with diabetes. After the death of her father when she was 9, books and the library helped her escape sadness at home. Her mother’s purchase of an encyclopedia set unveiled the secrets of the world. Sotomayor describes books as companions, launchpads, lenses that brought focus to the world around her and helped her sort out right from wrong. Delacre’s mixed-media illustrations contribute to the child-friendly feel of the book and neatly extend the metaphors the text spins. Without context provided, the initial illustrations depicting a child and an older woman going food shopping might be puzzling to readers not familiar with the close connection between Sotomayor and her grandmother. Otherwise the illustrations go hand in hand with the narration.

A thoughtful introduction to both the power of reading and an inspiring role model. (timeline, photographs) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-51408-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018


A touching ode to Indigenous activists organizing for generations of clean water.

The true story of a young Anishinaabe woman and her family’s legacy of Native water activism.

In the foreword, Anishinaabe activist Autumn Peltier explains, “In our culture, we look at water as a living being, and we’re taught to treat it with the same respect we would show another human.” With this ethic in mind, Lindstrom (Anishinaabe/Métis) and George (Anishinaabe) tell their story from the perspective of nibi (Anishinaabe for water) itself. Beginning with the Anishinaabe tradition of “looking seven generations into the future” to ensure that water is clean for everyone, nibi celebrates Indigenous land and water stewardship. But “over time, more people came” and polluted and mistreated water, and Native women “were forced to get louder” in the fight for water protection—including Grandma Josephine, Autumn Peltier’s great-aunt. A water warrior famous for trekking around the Great Lakes with a copper water pail, Grandma Josephine inspired young Autumn to also make waves. George’s rich, cartoon images reverently depict Autumn’s growth as an organizer under her ancestors’ guidance, honoring their intergenerational struggles. After the story concludes with an invitation to join Autumn in the fight for water rights, backmatter offers more details about Grandma Josephine and Autumn’s activism. Lindstrom’s latest is a moving tribute to Native women and their crucial leadership in Indigenous and water rights. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A touching ode to Indigenous activists organizing for generations of clean water. (glossary, further reading) (Informational picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023

ISBN: 9781250795274

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023


Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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