Tony Winner Ali Stroker Narrates Audiobook for Sonia Sotomayor's JUST ASK

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Tony Winner Ali Stroker Narrates Audiobook for Sonia Sotomayor's JUST ASK

Tony Award®-winning actress Ali Stroker (Oklahoma, Deaf West's Spring Awakening, The Glee Project) narrates the audiobook of JUST ASK: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You (Listening Library; on sale January 21, 2020), written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor plays herself alongside Stroker, as well as narrates her introduction and author's note. In the book, Sotomayor uses her own experiences as a child to write about kids with all sorts of challenges, and the special powers those children have as well.

Ali Stroker is the first actress who uses a wheelchair to appear on a Broadway stage, and to be nominated for and win a Tony Award, for Best Featured Actress in a Musical as Ado Annie in Oklahoma. In addition to her theater work, Stroker is a founding member of Be More Heroic, an anti-bullying campaign which tours the country connecting with thousands of students each year.

Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful. In JUST ASK, a group of children work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way. This book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we're not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

"Growing up with diabetes-having to eat well, manage my medications, and even give myself shots-was difficult and often frustrating," says Sotomayor. "But it also instilled in me discipline and fortitude that I have carried with me throughout my life. Those values helped me to become a lawyer and eventually a Supreme Court Justice, and they can help any child struggling with challenging life conditions to make his or her dreams come true."

Narrator Ali Stroker says, "I was so excited to get the opportunity to read JUST ASK, because this book is so important for all children to read. When I was a kid, I wished there were more books out there like this that taught me about all different kinds of kids and their amazing abilities."

JUST ASK is available simultaneously on audio in Spanish as ¡SOLO PREGUNTA!: Sé Diferente, Sé Valiente, Sé Tú, narrated by Almarie Guerra. Sotomayor reads an introduction and author's note, as well as a selection from the story, in both English and Spanish editions.

Sonia Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York. She earned a BA from Princeton University and a JD from Yale Law School. She served as Assistant District Attorney in New York County, and then as a litigator at Pavia & Harcourt. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the US District Court, Southern District of New York. In 1997, President William Jefferson Clinton nominated her to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009, becoming the first Latina Justice on the Court. She is the author of My Beloved World, Turning Pages, and The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor.

Ali Stroker won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as 'Ado Annie' in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! She made history as the first actor in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway in Deaf West's acclaimed 2015 revival of Spring Awakening. Stroker starred in 12 episodes of the talent competition, The Glee Project, winning a guest role on Fox's Glee. She recurred in the Kyra Sedgwick ABC series, Ten Days in the Valley and guest starred on Fox's Lethal Weapon, CBS' Instinct, The CW's Charmed and Comedy Central's Drunk History. She's performed her cabaret act at Green Room 42 and solo'ed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, New York's Town Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall. Stroker is an honorary board member of The National Disability Theatre. Her mission to improve the lives of others through the arts, disabled or not, is captured in her motto: "Turning Your Limitations Into Your Opportunities."

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