Just Help!: How to Build a Better World

by Sonia Sotomayor (Author) Angela Dominguez (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Just Ask! comes a fun and meaningful story about making the world--and your community--better, one action at a time, that asks the question: Who will you help today? Every night when Sonia goes to bed, Mami asks her the same question: How did you help today? And since Sonia wants to help her community, just like her Mami does, she always makes sure she has a good answer to Mami's question. In a story inspired by her own family's desire to help others, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor takes young readers on a journey through a neighborhood where kids and adults, activists and bus drivers, friends and strangers all help one another to build a better world for themselves and their community. With art by award-winning illustrator Angela Dominguez, this book shows how we can all help make the world a better place each and every day. Praise for Just Help! -- Generosity proves contagious in this personal portrait of community service by Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor. --Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Generosity proves contagious in this personal portrait of community service by Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor (Just Ask!). Young Sonia's mother, a hospital nurse, asks her before school each morning, "How will you help today?" Seeking to "have a good answer for Mami's question," the light-skinned child has gathered personal supplies for American soldiers serving overseas. As Sonia and her classmates assemble care packages in the school gym, the work cheers a child whose mother is "stationed far away," and who in turn gives the plastic shopping bags to a kid who started a plastic bag recycling program at school. Sonia's classmates, shown as children of varying abilities and skin tones, generate still more ideas via a domino effect of good deeds. Sotomayor concludes by emphasizing the importance of voting: "When I was young, I was part of a great struggle to get the right to vote," an older Black man tells a pupil who pushes his wheelchair; "Now I never miss the chance." Digital illustrations by Dominguez (I Love You, Baby Burrito) portray the children and their actions with simplicity and clarity. An author's letter explains why it's crucial to understand the world as "one very large neighborhood," and that's just what young Sonia and her classmates do in this inspirational volume. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for Just Help!

Generosity proves contagious in this personal portrait of community service by Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor. —Publishers Weekly
Sonia Sotomayor
SONIA SOTOMAYOR nació en el Bronx, Nueva York. Obtuvo la licenciatura en Humanidades de la Universidad de Princeton y se graduó como doctora en Jurisprudencia de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Yale. Trabajó como asistente del fiscal del distrito en el condado de Nueva York, y posteriormente ingresó como abogada litigante en la firma de abogados Pavia & Harcourt. En 1991, fue nominada por el presidente George H. W. Bush al Tribunal del Distrito Sur de Nueva York. En 1997, el presidente William Jefferson Clinton la nominó para la Corte de Apelaciones del Segundo Circuito. El presidente Barack Obama la nominó para ocupar el cargo de Jueza Asociada del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia de Estados Unidos el 26 de mayo del 2009. Asumió el cargo el 8 de agosto del 2009, convirtiéndose en la primera latina en ocupar un puesto de tal relevancia. Es la autora de Mi mundo adorado, Pasando páginas y El mundo adorado de Sonia Sotomayor.

RAFAEL LÓPEZ ganó la Medalla Pura Belpré por Drum Dream Girl y por Book Fiesta. También ha recibido tres menciones de honor Pura Belpré, tres Américas Book Awards y, en el 2017, el Tomás Rivera Children's Book Award y la Medalla de Plata de la Society of Illustrators Original Art. Sus trabajos han aparecido en Communication Arts, American Illustration Anual, Graphic Design USA y Huffington Post. Es el fundador del movimiento San Diego's Urban Art Trail. Creó siete sellos para la Oficina de Correos de Estados Unidos y el póster oficial para la campaña presidencial de Obama-Biden de los años 2008 y 2012.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Philomel Books
Publication date
January 20, 2022

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