Sotomayor, a children's book author, asks: Whom did you help today?

WASHINGTON (AP), -- "Whom has I helped today?" This is the question Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor asks her children every night before going to bed.

Sotomayor, a children's book author, asks: Whom did you help today?

"Just Help!" is her new book for children. How to Build A Better World challenges children to think about how they can help. This is Sotomayor’s third book for young readers.

Children can help in many ways, including sending care packages to American soldiers overseas and recycling plastic bags. They also clean up parks, donate toys to children's hospitals, and encourage others to vote.

"I want my children to do this deliberately, to think that it is a requirement for living almost, that trying out to make a better universe should be part of their daily lives," Sotomayor, 67, said in a telephone interview before the publication of the book.

Sotomayor stated that she wants children to not only help their family and friends, but also "think about how you can help your neighbors and how we can help our community. It takes active thought and action to make a difference in the world."

As a child, Sotomayor is asked by her mother to help her. The story then follows Sotomayor and other children as they try to find ways to help. Sotomayor tells readers she recollects seeing her mother help others throughout her childhood, as a nurse and in her community in the Bronx.

Celina Baez Sotomayor was Sotomayor’s mother. She died last year. This is what inspired Sotomayor to write "Just Shine," her next book. Sotomayor stated that the book will be about her mother, Celina Baez Sotomayor. "That was how she approached the outside world."

Sotomayor acknowledged that losing her mother was "a hard blow" but she said "being able "to speak about how she inspired me to live a life of service" was "a wonderful way " to pay her tribute." Her new book also includes a subtle tribute. John, an older man who encourages children to vote is Sotomayor's nod to John Lewis, whom she said she "greatly loved."

Other books by Sotomayor include "Turning Pages: My Life Story" (with a supplementary subtitle) and "Just Ask!" Be Different, Brave, and Be You" is a book about children who have challenges such as autism, dyslexia, and Down syndrome. All books published by the court's Latina first justice were also available in Spanish.

Sotomayor's final book, "Just Ask," was inspired by her experiences with diabetes as a child. This topic is relevant to many young people. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that children with COVID-19 were twice as likely as their peers to develop diabetes.

Sotomayor tells children newly diagnosed with a chronic illness that they can be made stronger by the experience.

"Any condition can be seen as a burden or an opportunity to learn. She said that when life presents challenges, such as diabetes or any other illness, it is important to learn how to be more resourceful, more disciplined, and take care of your health.

Sotomayor believes that living with diabetes has taught them to listen to their bodies and take care of it. As coronavirus cases rose in number, Sotomayor participated in arguments at high court from her office. Except for Justice Neil Gorsuch and her colleagues, she wore masks to the courtroom, which was the first time that the justices had heard in-person arguments since October. Stories claimed that Sotomayor was uncomfortable sitting next to anyone unmasked. Sotomayor, Gorsuch and others released a statement Wednesday stating that they sometimes disagree on the law but are "warm friends and colleagues."

Sotomayor, when asked about her book, declined to talk about her decision to remote participate in arguments. She stated that she only pays attention to her health.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Sotomayor will make virtual appearances for her new book. She'll be speaking with American actress America Ferrera at a Chicago Public Library event. She used to take pictures with children and give them hugs during previous book tours. Sotomayor stated that she had continued to meet with schoolchildren virtually during the pandemic, but admitted it wasn't as satisfying as receiving hugs from children.

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