“I saw the possibilities of things that I could have never imagined without reading,” Sotomayor, the first Latina Justice to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, said.
She has one of the most influential positions in the country, but as a girl who did not grow up privileged, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor credits her incredible journey to one thing.
“The key to success in my life, it’s the secret that I want to share with kids and how I became successful. I’m here as a Supreme Court Justice only because of books,” said Sotomayor.
The first Latina Supreme Court Justice spoke to a packed main hall of over 2,000 people at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday at the 18th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival.
Organizers said Sotomayor is the first children’s book author invited to speak on the main stage at the festival. After the main hall filled up, several hundred more watched on monitors in the hallways.
“I wish every kid here could see that if I can do it so can you!” said Sotomayor.
An avid reader growing up, Sotomayor’s new book for young readers, “Turning Pages: My Life Story,” is a richly illustrated book that chronicles her life growing up in New York City.
“Reading books opened the world to me. Especially for children growing up in modest means as I did, books give you the chance to explore the wider world. Television and especially now the Internet don’t let you imagine,” said Sotomayor.
As a young girl growing up with limited economic means, it was a chance to explore and imagine a world beyond where she was living, with endless possibilities at her fingertips as she turned the pages.
“The power of words is in creating pictures in your mind and that is very special. As a child, I explored the world through books. I saw the possibilities of things that I could have never imagined without reading,” said Sotomayor. “I could have never imagined traveling to faraway places and now I do it, but that wish to meet other people and go other places came from reading. Books were the key to deciding to become what I am today.”
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