The Book

The City of East Lansing and Michigan State University have announced the book selection for the 2017 One Book, One Community program: “My Beloved World," a memoir by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court of the United States. 

“My Beloved World” by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court of the United States

Sotomayor’s story is one of determination and the hope, tenacity, hard work and self-reliance that would propel a little girl who grew up in a Puerto Rican corner of the Bronx to the highest court in the land. In “My Beloved World,” Sotomayor provides readers with a frank and loving account of her coming of age and her large extended family, many with roots still in Puerto Rico. Sotomayor also recounts the adversity she has faced in her life – from growing up in poverty with an at-times challenging family life to her lifelong management of juvenile diabetes and her determination to adapt to a wider world that would eventually result in her becoming the first Latina and third woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sotomayor’s retelling of her exuberant, colorful and close-knit family is reminiscent of many first and second generation immigrants, who rely on each other as they adapt to a new world. Always personal and intimate, her story is that of the importance of family and the determined reach for participation in the American dream. Sotomayor’s story gives us insight into her passage into the heady and, to her, often strange world of academia and later the practice of law.

A foretelling of her grit and tenacity, Sotomayor learned to give herself insulin shots at the tender age of seven when she was first diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. It was those characteristics of grit and tenacity that later carried her from being named valedictorian of her high school to graduating with honors from Princeton University and serving as an editor of the Yale Law Journal at Yale Law School. Sotomayor says, “Experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true.”