09.03.2019

Justice Sotomayor encourages kids to ‘Just Ask’ in new book

Justice Sotomayor encourages kids to ‘Just Ask’ in new book Photo Courtesy The Associated Press

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has said that the seed for what has become her latest children's book was planted the day a woman called her a drug addict.

Sotomayor, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 7, had gone to the bathroom of an upscale New York restaurant to give herself an insulin shot. She was in her 30s but hiding her diabetes. Another diner came in and saw her and later, as Sotomayor was leaving the restaurant, she heard the woman tell a companion: "She's a drug addict."

Outraged, Sotomayor confronted her, explaining that the shot was medicine, not drugs: "If you don't know something, ask, don't assume," Sotomayor said.

From that exchange comes the title of Sotomayor's latest book, "Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You," released Tuesday and intended for kids age 4 to 8. The book introduces readers to children who face what Sotomayor calls "life challenges" as they work together to create a garden rich with different flowers and plants, a metaphor for their own differences.

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