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2017-2018 Common Read -- My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor: Home

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We invite you to view the available resources at this site.  This Guide will help you to find books to check out, licensed articles and online resources.     It will also provide information about our Library, as well as upcoming events and activities. We are here to help you and are always ready to provide assistance online, by telephone or in person at the Reference Desk.

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My Beloved World

 2017-2018 Common Read  My Beloved World  by  Sonia Sotomayor   book cover

The program is described on the Common Read Blackboard site:

"Queensborough faculty members and their students will read My Beloved World in classes in the Spring 2018 semester.  All students will participate in co-curricular activities.

The coming fall marks the centennial celebration of women having the right to vote in New York State.  To commemorate this anniversary, the College recently announced a theme for the coming academic year of female empowerment and gender equality.  This announcement was coupled with a request to align events and activities throughout the coming academic year with this theme.

For the coming year, the committee has selected My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic Justice and third woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.  You can read more about this text at Penguin Random House.  (see below)

For additional information regarding this initiative please contact Dr. Robin Ford, Assistant Professor, English, and Coordinator of the Common Read, at, or Dr. Henry Davis, Academic Program Specialist at" 

Click on the tabs at the top of the page for more help. 

Women Supreme Court Justices


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Leslie Ward
Kurt R. Schmeller Library
Queensborough Community College
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Office: 1-718-281-5795

About the Common Read at QCC

The Common Read experience at QCC is described on the Blackboard site

cartoon student with book

In addition to high impact instructional experiences and pedagogical research, faculty and the campus community at large are engaging in large-scale discussions about issues challenging community colleges in general and Queensborough in particular. The Common Read is a Common Intellectual Experience that promotes integrative learning across the curriculum through multi-disciplinary approaches to a common text. Participating faculty members are able to incorporate the text in a way that aligns with their individual interests and disciplines. Students participate in cross-disciplinary events which provide an opportunity for increased social and academic engagement while supporting the learning that takes place in the classroom."



Background of Sonia Sotomayor

Influence on the Supreme court

About the Author


"Sonia Sotomayor (born 1954) is the first American of Hispanic descent to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009, the New York City-area federal judge became only the third woman ever to serve on the nation's high court and the 111th American jurist to receive the prestigious lifetime appointment. With her swearing-in ceremony on August 9, 2009, Sotomayor became the highest ranking person of Puerto Rican heritage in the United States government."

"Sonia Maria Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954, to parents who had taken advantage of a unique World War I-era law that gave Puerto Ricans U.S. citizen-ship. Her mother Celina had enlisted in the Women's Army Corps during World War II, and later married Juan Soto-mayor. The couple settled in New York City, home to a thriving Puerto Rican-émigré community, where Juan worked as a welder and Sotomayor's mother became a licensed practical nurse at a small hospital in the South Bronx.

Grew Up in Public Housing

In 1957, Sotomayor's younger brother Juan Jr. was born, and that same year the family moved out of their tenement apartment into a public housing unit at the Bronxdale Houses. Sotomayor and her brother attended Roman Catholic schools in southeast Bronx, and her mother “had almost a fanatical emphasis on education,” Sotomayor once recalled in an interview with New York Timesjournalist Jan Hoffman. “We got encyclopedias, and she struggled to make those payments. She kept saying, ‘I don't care what you do, but be the best at it.’”

Sotomayor's pleasant childhood was disrupted by two serious events: at the age of eight she was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, and began a lifelong dependence on daily insulin injections. A year later, her father died of a heart attack, though he was just 42 years old. Sotomayor's mother struggled to keep her two children in parochial school, and was able to move them into an even safer place, the enormous new Co-Op City in the northeast quadrant of the Bronx, in the late 1960s.

Earned Scholarship to Princeton

By then Sotomayor had entered Cardinal Spellman High School and had set her sights on a career in law. She earned top grades at the single-sex unit of the school—which became a co-educational institution at the start of her senior year in 1971—was a member of the debate team and the National Honor Society, and graduated as her class valedictorian. Her efforts yielded a full-ride scholarship to an Ivy League school, Princeton University, at a time when the New Jersey college was moving to diversify its student body. She majored in history while working in the college cafeteria, and became active in a Hispanic student group called Accion Puertorriquena that worked to urge Princeton officials to hire and promote more Hispanic-heritage faculty members. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 1976, collecting a top academic prize for her grades along with Phi Beta Kappa distinction. Later that year she married Kevin E. Noonan, a classmate from her Cardinal Spellman days, who went on to become a molecular biologist, and also began classes at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut.

After earning her law degree in 1979, Sotomayor went to work for the District Attorney's office in New York County under prosecutor Robert M. Morgenthau. She spent five years as an assistant district attorney at the famed 100 Centre Street building in Manhattan, at a time when violent crime rates in New York City were skyrocketing. Assistant district attorneys handled about 300 cases a year, collecting evidence and arguing the prosecution's side for conviction. The heavy caseloads handled by Morgenthau's office were the focus of a 1983 New York Times Magazine article by Jonathan Barzilay. “I had more problems during my first year in the office with the low-grade crimes,” Sotomayor told Barzilay. “The shoplifting, the prostitution, the minor assault cases. In large measure, in those cases you were dealing with socioeconomic crimes, crimes that could be the product of the environment and of poverty.” ..

Sotomayor, who grew up a New York Yankees fan, first turned up in national news headlines in the spring of 1995 when she made a firm ruling on an ongoing labor dispute between the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and team owners. The athletes had walked off the job the previous August over proposed new salary rules in the league, and their walkout forced the cancellation of the rest of the 1994 season. The strike threatened to drag on into another year, and even Congress and President Bill Clinton were unable to bring the two sides to a compromise. When team owners began moving replacement players to training camps and then voted to begin the season with them, the case came onto Sotomayor's docket. Famously, she issued an injunction preventing team owners from hiring new teams. “Sotomayor chided baseball owners, saying they had no right to unilaterally eliminate the 20-year-old system of free agents and salary arbitration while bargaining continues,” wrote New York Times journalist James C. McKinley Jr. Other newspaper headlines commended her as the woman who finally ended the seven-month-long baseball strike and saved the 1995 MLB season.

In June of 1997, Sotomayor was nominated for another federal judgeship, this one on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. This is the New York City-based appellate court in between the federal courts—like the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and five other district courts—and the U.S. Supreme Court. President Clinton nominated her for this, and the process once again included vetting by the Senate Judiciary Committee and confirmation by Senate vote. But conservative forces marshaled against Sotomayor, and Republicans in the Senate managed to delay the vote for months. Finally, after more than a year of political wrangling, the Senate confirmed her appointment on October 3, 1998. “Some Republicans,” wrote Neil A. Lewis in the New York Times, “did not want to consider the nomination because, they said, putting her on the appeals court would enhance her prospects for elevation to the Supreme Court.”

   Sotomayor had become a contender for a Supreme Court appointment. A little over three months after President Barack Obama took office, Supreme Court Associate Justice David Souter announced his retirement from the bench. Sotomayor turned up on the Obama administration's shortlist of four female finalists, and on May 26, 2009, the president announced she was his choice to become the 111th justice of the Supreme Court. “She's faced down barriers, overcome the odds, lived out the American dream that brought her parents here so long ago,” the president said at a news conference announcing his choice, according to USA Today....

Sotomayor was confirmed by Senate vote on August 6, 2009, and sworn in as an Associate Justice by Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on August 9. Her mother, Celina—remarried, retired, and visiting Washington from her home in Margate, Florida—held the Bible for the ceremony.... "

Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition) 
"Sotomayor, Sonia." Encyclopedia of World Biography, edited by James Craddock, 2nd ed., vol. 32, Gale, 2012, pp. 320-322. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 3 Jan.