Sunday, January 8, 2012

Booktalk: The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez (Virginia Readers' Choice for 2011-2012)

Some people are actually really funny when they’re making fun of themselves and their families, and Sonia Rodriguez is no exception. Sonia and her family are Mexican-Americans: in the eyes of the law, Sonia’s here legally, but her parents are not.

Her dad works two (sometimes three) jobs to support the family, and he rarely gets any time off. Sonia’s mom is addicted to sitting on her butt and watching telenovelas; for someone who has been in this country for 16 years, Sonia’s mom speaks virtually no English. Sonia’s a witty, smart, loyal teenager, and like many of us, she has some … interesting … relatives. Her uncle, whom she calls her drunkle, is always drunk and lying around or freaking Sonia out completely. Her aunt is extremely religious and often tells people to their faces that they’re going to hell. This is normal in Sonia’s family.

And family loyalty and discretion – keeping one’s dirty laundry inside the family and not leaking it – are paramount within the family code. The adults in Sonia’s family know this code extremely well. Familia es todo. You protect family members at all costs: right? But Sonia is starting to question this code: find out what her secret is in The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Lawrence Sitomer.

The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Lawrence Sitomer. Hyperion: 2008. 312 p. Booktalk to high school. Virginia Readers’ Choice 2011-2012.

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