this time, I got to read the book first! The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez tells about the life of a Latina growing up in Los Angeles. Her hardworking father supports her, but the rest of her family abuses and takes advantage of her for her entire life.
Sonia is an admirable girl, patient and persistent. There were so many incidences in the book that made me wish she would lash out at her cruel family. I can't imagine putting up with half of the abuse Sonia does, but I will defer to Mr. Sitomer, who apparently based this novel on experiences of some of his students.
As for my students, I know they will love this novel. Like Homeboyz, this novel will get a "Ninth Grade Only" tag on the cover. There are a lot of curse words and mature situations involving drugs and sex. I wish there had been better pacing in the novel. I expected there to be more time in Mexico, but it felt rushed. Even more rushed was Sonia's senior year of high school, with the first semester spanning only a few pages and a tacked-on destiny. Mr. Sitomer writes the female voice well and I look forward to more stories about female protagonists that make their voices heard more clearly.