SURPRISING CECILIA by Susan Gonzales Abraham


Age Range: 10 - 13
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In this sequel to Cecilia’s Year (2004), the authors continue their fictionalized biography of their mother, growing up in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico in the 1930s. Chapters begin with Mexican proverbs and period photographs, as they relate Cecilia’s move from a one-room schoolhouse to riding the bus to high school in town, waiting all year for a letter from her first love, housing and befriending Dust Bowl–stricken Oklahomans and feeling the effects of a whooping-cough epidemic. Cecilia’s main struggle, however, is with her mother, who insists on following older Mexican traditions. While the story gushes with sentimentality, it also conveys “snazzy” lingo, superstitions, savory meals and other interesting occurrences of the time, rural life and Latino culture. An author’s note about the real Cecilia and her life after high school, as well as a list of Mexican proverbs and English translations, follows the text. Sure to find readers especially in libraries serving larger Latino populations. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-938317-96-2
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: Cinco Puntos
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2005