Pandora 's Reviews > Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
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's review
May 13, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: children-s, class-list, summer-reading
Read from April 13 to 15, 2012

I do remember enjoying this reverse Cinderella story. I like how the character grew and the bit of romance in it. Unfortunately I didn't review it so the details are lost.

Second reading
"The rich person is richer when he becomes poor, than the poor person when he becomes rich." ~ Mexican proverb.

This is one of the two quotes that sets up the story. It is perfect summary of the book. The book is based on the author's Grandmother who like the heroine has to live her rich lifestyle and become a field worker. The story weaves in spanish but, in such a way that you don't have to speak spanish to undertand the story. It is a very believeable tranformation of Esperanza from little princess who can't even sweep to becoming a very capable young woman and helper. Making things even harder for Esperanza is having to deal with sudden poverty but, also the prejudice of the times - 1924. The prejudice show in the book is especially hard hitting given the immigration policy today.


“Our Land is alive, Esperanza...This whole valley breathes and lives...He picked up a handful of earth and studied it. Did you know that when you lie down on the land, you can feel it breathe? That you can feel its heart beating.”

“Esperanza smiled and reached over and gently pulled the yarn, unraveling the uneven stitches. Then she looked into Isabel's trusting eyes and said, "Do not ever be afraid to start over.”


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