The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez

 
4.0
 
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Age Range
12+
ISBN
1423130278
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Fighting for a dream
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Sonia Rodriguez was born in the United States while her Mexican immigrant parents are here illegally. She has a dream to be the first in her family to graduate from high school and to go to college. Her father works three jobs just to survive. He's encouraging of her and supports her dreams.

Her mother on the other hand watches telenovelas while Sonia spends most of her time watching her siblings, cook and clean up after not only her brothers but a drunken uncle whos been giving her inappropriate advances. But this is familia and familia is number one. Even with these odds against her, Sonia tries hard to make her dream a reality.

Then her mother and super religious aunt think Sonia is too full of herself and send her to Mexico to learn the old ways. At first Sonia has a hard time but later learns lots from her cigar smoking grandmother and beautiful cousin Maria. She returns more determined to succeed but then the birth of twin siblings makes the dream become more elusive. Will Sonia succumb to the stereotypical life of a Latina or will she be able to fulfill her dreams of a better life?

I really enjoyed this story. The author nails Sonias voice down and her struggle to better herself. As a former bilingual teacher Ive heard similar stories from parents of the students I taught. But I also saw those who, though hard work and encouragement, go on to succeed in school. Sonia comes right out and says that some of her familia are stereotypes of what Anglos think of immigrant Mexicans. But what I loved was the description of her papi. Hes hardworking and doesnt drink or follow any of the clichés. Instead he encourages her dreams. A true role model.

Sonia's culture is shown in vivid details from the Cinco de Mayo event, making tamales for a party, and the roles that unfortuately sometimes is forced on girls. Sonia's struggles and conflicts are very real. Should she fight for her dreams or is she wrong to go against the traditions of her culture?

I read this book in one day. Fast paced with a character that fights against the odds, shes sure to be one that others can identify with.



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