Saturday, July 27, 2013

Esperanza Rising

By Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico—she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances—Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

I’ve been told to read this again and again and I finally got to it. I can tell why so many people told me to read it, and I’m fairly certain it has won awards, but not sure which. It’s the story of a rich Mexican girl turned poor immigrant to America that has to work as a laborer when her father is murdered in Mexico and her mother falls ill when they reach America. Esperanza means Hope rising.  This historical text is definitely about hope and rising above your circumstances. It was touching and educated me about a part of American history I didn’t know much about. I enjoyed the incorporation of Spanish words and culture as well. It’s a great book for kids and adults that enjoy historical fiction and coming-of-age novels.

I give it a 3.75 out of 5 but it’s dangerously close to a 4

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