My two biggest dislikes of biographies/autobiographies are, first the author just blindly praises the subject/themselves. But then again, why write a biography if you do not like the subject or you do not want to promote yourself? Yet, we should know our heroes have flaws and we should show our flaws to readers. The second is about women biographies/autobiographies. Unpopular opinion here: I am tired of them. Or I should say, I am tired of the same ones over and over. I am tired of being told that this woman is a “role model” and if I do not agree something is wrong with me.
With that said, I was pleasantly surprised with Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor. I was afraid it would be a bland autobiography just overly praising herself. After all, she has done amazing things and overcome much. However, instead of “just an event by event” of her life, it poetically mixes in her life with how books played a role in shaping her and her outlook about the world and justice. It shows how books helped her as a lawyer and finally as a judge. It is not just an autobiography but a book about books. There is a timeline to show facts.
Since this is a picture book, illustrations are done by Lulu Delacre. As what Sotomayor describes is the magic of books, how they allowed her to travel the world and understand who she wanted to be, Delacre created a realistic dream-like world. The colors softly speak, painting New York, Puerto Rico and Sotomayor.