Ambitious high school senior Efrain Rodriguez dreams of escaping the South Bronx for an Ivy League college like Harvard or Yale. But how is his family going to afford to pay for a prestigious university when Moms has to work insane hours to put food on the table as it is? And Efrain wouldn’t dare ask that good-for-nothing father of his who has traded his family in for younger models. Left with few options, Efrain chooses to do something he never thought he would. He embarks on a double life—honor student by day, drug peddler at night—convinced that by temporarily capitulating to society’s negative expectations of a boy like him, he can eventually defy them.
Sofia Quintero makes a stunning debut writing for young adults with this gritty, complex, and real exploration of the life of an urban teen whose attempt to leave one world behind for a better one could cost him everything.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Efrain's Secret|
|Release Date: 04-13-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers|
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Application fee to Harvard University: $65
Tuition per year for a full-time student: $32,557
Annual room and board: $11,042
Average SAT score for incoming freshmen: 2235 (although Harvard ain't trying to admit that)
My chances of getting into any Ivy League college with an SAT score of 1650: worthless
I type "SAT prep" into a search engine when Chingy yells, "Yes!" from the computer station next to me. "I got a 1560." The librarian puts a finger to her lips. After mouthing an apology, he asks me, "How'd you do, cuz?"
"You don't want to know, kid."
"C'mon, man." Chingy's giddy because the average SAT score of an incoming freshman at Howard is only 1530. Being senior class president and having a GPA of 3.5, he's headed to D.C. next August. That is, if his older brother Baraka doesn't convince Chingy to join him at Morehouse in the ATL. "I know you did better than me," he says, leaning over my shoulder to peek at my monitor.
"I got a 1650," I finally say.
"Yo, I think you broke the school record, man! Mrs. Colfax said that back in 1986, this girl scored 1050 on the old version of the test." Chingy activates the calculator on his computer desktop and types in some numbers. "Yeah, E., you did it! A score of 1050 on the old test is only a 1515 today. Congratulations, man!" I feel like a fraud but still give Chingy a pound for being a good sport about my outscoring him. "Get a teacher to mention that in a recommendation. That way you won't sound arrogant in your essay. Stay shy, cuz."
"You don't get it, kid," I say. "I have to retake the damn thing." A 1650? I studied all summer. After borrowing every prep book I could fro...