Hispanic Star: Sonia Sotomayor

Roaring Brook. (Hispanic Star). Sept. 2023. 112p. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781250828231.
Gr 2-5–The chapter book nonfiction series on Hispanic heroes continues with exciting entries on stars Sonia Sotomayor and Ellen Ochoa (see Hispanic Star: Ellen Ochoa). Both volumes open with a pivotal moment in the life of the subject—Sotomayor attending a ceremony in which they name the projects in the Bronx, where she grew up, after her, and Ochoa playing a flute in space. Each series installment conveys the challenges, struggles, and triumphs of each living role model. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor grew up with very modest means and Type 1 Diabetes. Astronaut Ochoa never learned Spanish because of the stigma that came along with being Mexican. The women have many aspects in common—for example, strong mothers who believed in education. They also faced many obstacles to their success, sexism, racism, classism, and constantly being questioned on whether they were truly deserving of it. The coauthors use primary sources, including radio interviews and autobiographies to flesh out each narrative. The books have short sidebars giving more context to the subject’s time period, such as important moments in Puerto Rican history and the establishment of NASA. With plenty of white space and illustrations sprinkled throughout, these titles are accessible for young researchers. The Ochoa installment’s images were created by Gutierrez, whose pencil-like illustrations are especially photorealistic. The books end with “Did you know” sections that share cool facts and relevant web links.
VERDICT This series continues to impress. Purchase for elementary school libraries and where biographies for kids circulate well.

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