Rad Reads

Cozy Couch Reads: The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Sonia Rodriguez was born in the United States to Mexican immigrants who came to California before she was born. Her father has three Social Security numbers, her mother is pregnant (again), and neither speak English. Sonia's mother spends most of her time in bed, watching soap operas and letting Sonia clean up after her brothers. Sonia's father works dutifully to support his family but he knows that his daughter's dreams are bigger than making tamales for family get-togethers.
When Sonia attempts to put school work before her familia, her mother decides that it's time for Sonia to visit her grandmother in Mexico to learn "the ways of the old world."
While in Mexico, Sonia spends time with her wise grandmother and her cousin Maria who teach her that while familia is important, the most important thing is to follow your heart.
Sonia returns to the States determined to succeed in school but the birth of her new twin siblings and a forbidden relationship with an El Salvadorian boy push school to the back burner.
If only Sonia can find the time to cook dinner, secretly meet with her boyfriend AND finish her homework, she just might be able to reach her dreams.


1.  Throughout this book, Sonia is struggling to figure out her real identity, and where she fits in the world.  Can you relate?

2.  There is a real emphasis on the importance of family in this book.  How did you feel about the portrayal of Sonia’s relationships with her parents and with her grandmother?

3.  Can you relate to Sonia’s struggle to reconcile her own personal identity with her responsibilities with her family?

4.  How did you feel about the portrayal of Sonia’s uncle (Drunkle)?  What did you think about Sonia’s responses to him and what do you think it says about her character?

5.  What did you think of Sonia’s secret relationship with Geraldo? Could you ever fall in love with someone if your family didn’t approve?

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11/24/2008 9:38:00 AM