Jackie's Reviews > Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
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's review
Sep 19, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 5012, children-fiction, farm-life, historical, immigrant-experience, perseverance, survival, mexico, caudill-2004, pura-belpre-award, multicultural
Read in September, 2010

It is 1930 and Esperanza and her parents live in luxury and wealth in Aguascalientes, Mexico on their ranch. Servants Hortensia, Alfonso and their son Miguel are more like family to them and treat them as such. When Papa is brutally murdered, their life changes drastically and they are forced to travel across the border to find work with the migrant workers of California. Esperanza is not used to this life, and at first, she is resentful and ashamed of her new living quarters.

More sorrows are forthcoming and slowly Esperanza realizes that family, security, and work is her saving grace. She takes over when Mama becomes ill and puts food on the table, as she and the other migrant workers toil in the fruit and vegetable fields of Southern California. Told in chapters that follow the growing and harvesting seasons of these foods, Esperanza grows and matures right along with them. Esperanza Rising is a glimpse into the plight of the Mexican farm worker in the 30's, struggles of The Great Depression, and one family's determination to stay together during these troubling times.
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