Beyond the Supreme Court: Sotomayor's new kids' book urges 'action to change the world'

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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is releasing a new children’s book on Tuesday. 

“Just Help! How to Build a Better World” encourages children to ask how they can help others, according to the Associated Press. 

“I want kids to do this intentionally, to think that this is a requirement of living almost, that trying to figure out how they will make a better world should be a part of the charge of their living,” Sotomayor told AP ahead of the book’s publication.

She also told the outlet that though she wants kids to help their friends and family, she also wants them to “think about how to help neighbors and how to help our community, and that it takes active thought and active action to change the world.”

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor holds her new children’s book "Just Help!" on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

According to AP, the book begins with Sotomayor as a child being asked by her mother how she will help. The book then shows how Sotomayor and other children find ways to help people. 

Some of the ways that children in the book help include sending care packages to American soldiers overseas, recycling plastic bags, cleaning up a park, donating toys to a children’s hospital and encouraging others to vote.

Sotomayor also tells readers in her book about seeing her mother, Celina Baez Sotomayor, helping others as a nurse and in her community in the Bronx as Sotomayor was growing up, AP reported.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor holds her new children’s book "Just Help!" on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. The book has been published in both English and Spanish. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sotomayor’s mom died last year, and though her death was “a difficult blow,” Sotomayor told AP, “being able to speak about how she inspired my life of service” seemed to be “a wonderful way to pay her tribute.”

The book also pays tribute to the late Rep. John Lewis through a character of a man who encourages kids to vote. 

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“Just Help!” is Sotomayor’s third children’s book. Her next book, tentatively called “Just Shine,” will be about how her mother “let others shine,” Sotomayor told AP. 

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor holds her new children’s book "Just Help!" on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. "Just Help!" is her third children’s book. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sotomayor’s other children’s books are “Turning Pages: My Life Story” and “Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You,” about children with challenges including autism, dyslexia and Down syndrome. Her books have also all been published in Spanish. 

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Because of the ongoing pandemic, Sotomayor will be making virtual appearances in connection with her new book, including one hosted by the Chicago Public Library and another where she’ll talk with actress America Ferrera.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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