New experiences are never easy, as Cecilia discovers. Much to her surprise, high school is very different from the one-room schoolhouse she attended near her farm.
Surprising Cecilia is the second novel—following the success of Cecilia's Year—about a young girl whose dreams carry her far beyond the small farm community where she was born. Both novels are set in the rich Hispanic culture of the Rio Grande Valley of southern New Mexico in the 1930s and deal with the difficulties young women face trying to get an education and strike out on their own in a culture where women are expected to stay home until they marry. Cecilia has worked hard so she can go to high school. Now it's September, the school bus is taking Cecilia to new adventures, surprises and the responsibilities of growing up.
New experiences are never easy, as Cecilia discovers. Much to her surprise, high school is very different from the one-room schoolhouse she attended near her farm. The town students dress differently, they even speak differently with all kinds of new words Cecilia's never heard, and, Cecilia notices, they have money to spend. A lot of the girls have blonde hair and they wear it short, not in long dark braids like Cecilia does. Cecilia is humiliated when she ends up having to wear her brother's old farm boots to school the first day of class.
And much to her surprise and disappointment, Johnny Tafoya is nowhere around. At the beginning of the summer Johnny had let her know he cared for her and had even given her a kiss! But where was he now?
Teachers: Surprising Cecilia can serve as a great educational resource for the classroom. The authors, Susan & Denise Gonzales Abraham, are retired educators and have created a teacher's guide as well as some handouts to help bring Cecilia into the classroom!