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.
Pam Muñoz Ryan is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, ECHO, a 2016 Newbery Honor Book, and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She has written over forty books for young people—picture books, early readers, and middle grade and young adult novels. She the author recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, the Willa Cather Award, the Pura Belpré medal, the PEN USA award, and many others. Her novels include Esperanza Rising, Riding Freedom, Becoming Naomi León, Paint the Wind, The Dreamer, and Echo. She was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, holds a bachelor's and master's degree from San Diego State University and lives in north San Diego county with her family.
Esperanza Rising has been a wonderful read. One of the first thoughts I had, after finishing the book, was that, this book should have been slightly more longer.
Did you know if you lie down on the ground and stay very still, you can feel the Earth's heart beating?
This book is the story of Esperanza Ortega, whose life changes from a Fairytale existence to one filled with hardships and difficulties. It is about the changing attitudes of Esperanza and her understanding of Life.
In Spanish, Esperanza means Hope!!!
There is no rose without thorns...
This story is about Faith, Belief, Dreams, Hope and Survival!
I read and lesson planned this book when I student taught Spanish I to 7th and 8th graders. Any review I write will not do the book justice because it's been a long time and deserving of a reread. Definitely a great learning tool and Hispanic historical novel to read to middle school students.
This book was, I suppose, a good educational read: rather a beginner's Grapes of Wrath from a Mexican perspective. It covers very difficult issues of race, class difference, child labor and death with tact and a certain amount of gentleness.
But overall after I was finished I could not help but be faced with the difficult feeling that Esparanza, while being an incredibly strong young woman and a good role model in that sense, often overlooks the immorality and unfairness of her situation in order to continue living and doing what she has to do. I mean, that's a totally valid theme and it's in many ways honorable of her but given the horrible situation she's in, there are a lot of questions that arise. Esparanza is a 13-year old pulled out of school, subjected to backbreaking and agonizing child labor and essentially orphaned. This is a terrible situation for a child to be in, but the close of the book lauds Esparanza for the great, strong person that she has become for her hard work. Look! She knows how to cook now! Look! She knows how to work hard instead of being pampered! Look! She no longer has any selfish wants or needs!
If Esperanza were 18 or even 16 that sort of might fly, but the fact of the matter is that she is 13. She should not be in that situation and there is very little outrage towards the fact that she's in it. What makes it so especially questionable is the way that the strikers were portrayed. They were demonized--Marta, the main girl who attempts to lead the strikes and revolts (? I think that's her name) is looked at as Esperanza's opposite. Lazy, mean-spirited, angry, and violent. And later she is punished for her sins. All of the strikers are. For standing up and saying that children should not have to work, that humane housing and sanitations conditions should be met, that everyone should be paid a living wage. They are all arrested and deported, and afterwards Esparanza and her family are safe, saying, "We are loyal to the company, so the company takes care of us." Oh, is that so? Where is the company when the dust storms happen and the workers are trapped in the blistering wind? Where is the company when the children have blistered hands form peeling starchy potatoes? Where is the company when Esperanza's mother nearly dies because of horrible working conditions and Esperanza is forced to pay for her medical bills?
In fact, every time that there is a fight in the book and the battle between working and dealing with unfairness vs. fighting for a better world, working always wins out. I'm really not comfortable with the fact that the main themes of the book seem to be: "Life sucks--plug on and deal with it," rather than "Enact real, lasting social change so that life doesn't quite suck so bad for future generations." Esparanza in the end realizes that she essentially has no future and will never return to an education--it tops out at if she's lucky, she might be able to buy a very small house. And yet she has learned to be happy with that.
I'm sorry, but I'm not.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan is a wonderful novel about emigrants from Mexico during the great depression time. It is a story about a girl who was raised in a wealthy home and finds herself on the other shores and is very poor. This story can hear you up no matter what age you are. It was fun to read this book.
My 11-year-old was assigned this middle grades novel at school, and she struggled with it, early on, so we started it over as a read aloud at home and she became completely invested. So did I.
I liked this story much more than I suspected I would; it takes place at the same time and in same place as Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, but instead of "Okies," the focus is on Mexican immigrants. They've come to California to scrape together some sort of living while being paid next to nothing for picking produce.
Instead of a "rags to riches" story, it is the opposite: a riches to rags story. Compelling.
My favorite take-away from this read: "Do not be afraid to start over."
English 425 Submitter’s name _Whitney Price____ Book Bank Book Bank subject: __Group 3_Book_
Reference information: Title Esperanza Rising Author Pam Munoz Ryan Publisher Scholastic Press Year 2000 # of pages 253 Genre Fiction Reading level Interest level 13-15 Potential hot lava: racism
General response/reaction: My first response to this book was that I wanted it to be longer. I wanted to read more about the relationships Ezperanza makes and to see if anything evolves between her and Miguel. I really enjoyed this book. It would be an amazing multi-cultural book to use in the classroom. It uses Spanish words and phrases but also tells you what each one means. It shows how racism is bad and how it hurts people. It shows how people should not be treated a different way just because of their background. It is not only a great story, but it teaches a great lesson. I think this book would most likely attract teenage girls. The themes seem to be more girl orientated. I also suggest this book to children who understand racism and how it is bad. A good way to introduce this book could be during a social studies lesson about the Mexican culture or about how Hispanics come to the United States and how hard they work for a living.
Subjects, Themes, and Big Ideas: Family is a huge theme in this story. It shows how much one needs their family. Esperanza almost became the mother once her mom got sick. She had to take care of two babies. She had to rely on another family to help her get through it all. Growing up is a big subject. Esperanza has to grow up fast once she reaches the United States. She had to take care of babies, do chores, watch over her mama, and she eventually goes out and works the fields. Her character developed greatly throughout the story and by the end, you realize how much she does care for those people around her.
Characters: Esperanza is the main character. She grew up as a very rich girl in Mexico, then after the death of her father, she is forced to move to the United States and live as a poor girl. Romona is her mother who has a heart of gold. Even after she is forced to live the poor life, she still treats everyone kindly and respects everyone. Abuelita is the grandmother, and cannot go to the United States at first due to a swollen ankle she sustained in the house fire. Miguel is the son of Alfonso and Hortensia. He was a couple years older than Esperanza and they grew up together. Alfonso is an old friend of Esperanza’s father and was in charge of all the field workers. Hortensia was the wife Alfonso, and the care taker of Esperanza. Senor Rodriguez is an old friend who helps them escape Mexico. Isabel is the cousin of Miguel and quickly becomes Esperanza’s friend in the United States. Josefine and Juan are Miguel’s aunt and uncle and arranged for them all to come to the United States and to have a place to live. Marta is the trouble maker of the camp, who wants to strike, and makes fun of Esperanza. Irene and Melina are two women who live on the campsite who end up befriending Esperanza and helping her with the babies
Plot summary: Esperanza lived a very rich life style in Mexico until her father is killed. They run away to Mexico with the help of their friends, but Esperanza is afraid she will not be able to adjust to the life style of being poor and does not know how she will live without her Abuelita. Her mama gets sick and Esperanza must work to earn money to pay the bills and to save up for Abuelita to come to the United States. Her mom ends up surviving and her Abuelita finally comes to the United States with the help of her friend Miguel.
Strengths (including reviews and awards): Pura Belpre Award, 2001 ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults Smithsonian Best Books 2000 Publisher's Weekly Best Children's Books 2000 L.A. Times Best Books of 2000 Drawbacks or other cautions: A huge caution could be the use of racism throughout the book. It shows how Hispanics were looked down upon and how people did not care. It also shows how other minorities were looked down on and how they were treated unfairly and place d into crowded camps.
Teaching ideas: • One idea could be based around teaching about Mexico and their different customs. • One could teach about the Mexican revolution and how it affected the country and all the people. • Since fruit is a huge part of the story, you could bring in the different types of fruits and vegetables mentioned in the book. • They could discuss how illegal immigrants cause a strain on the economy but how helpful they can be at the same time. • One could have the students write a different ending to the story. • Since family is a huge part of the story, each student could do a little presentation on their family and why they are so important. • As a class, you could discuss different types of strikes that have happened throughout United States history. • A teacher could lead a discussion about racism and how it affected the United States and why it is wrong.
An inspiring story of struggle, hardship, and hope, Esperanza Rising gave me and my children much to discuss. This is a great work of historical fiction for children based on the life of the author's grandmother.
Esperanza, the daughter of a wealthy landowner, and her mother must leave their home in Mexico and start over as farm workers in California after the death of her father. Set in the early 1930's, this book gives you a feel for the struggles of the Great Depression as well as California History . Filled with Spanish phrases and words, it's a great introduction to learning Spanish and shows many cultural aspects as well.
This book is rich with ideas for great discussions on empathy, economics, labor unions, race relations, prejudice, rights, family, choices, hope, attitude, work, pride, and kindness. Make sure you keep tissues by as you read. I don't usually cry when reading, but this book brought my tears to the surface again and again making it difficult to read aloud to my kids. It's a sweet book about hard work, love, and hope.
De mult nu am mai găsit într-un roman atâta candoare, dragoste și optimism! M-a făcut să-mi fie dor de vremea când mergeam cu bunicii și părinții la câmp. Mâncam la prânz ouă fierte dimineața și ținute sub pom, la umbră, până atunci, iar sarea era într-un flacon de medicamente, normal. Mă întreb ce ar fi zis bătrânii dacă scoteam atunci o sticluță cu dezinfectant și niscaiva șervețele umede. Dacă vă e dor de bunici, dacă ați pierdut pe cineva, dacă viața v-a obligat să vă maturizați prea devreme, dacă doar vreți să aflați o poveste înduioșătoare, atunci asta e cartea potrivită.
,,Omul avut când sărăcește devine mai bogat decât săracul care ajunge să cunoască bogăția.'' (proverb mexican)
What a beautiful and beautifully simple story! I love the angles of perspective, the rich culture and largely ignored history of the Mexican repatriation, that the author explores. It's even better to learn that the author based the story largely on very true events of her grandmother's time. Esperanza is a lovely young heroine who matures so believably and admirably. I really like that she started as a pretty ignorant, hot-tempered and slightly spoiled child, so we can see that the Mexicans don't all suffer and have tragic pasts, they also have wonderful memories of comfort (not luxury but happy times). The Spanish in the book didn't hurt at all too, helped me to learn a bit more. Can't wait to read more from this author!!!
Though Esperanza comes from a privileged background, she and her mother are forced to flee Mexico after her father dies. She must work as a farm laborer (despite her upbringing and education) in southern California during the Great Depression.
The characterization is lovely; they are well rounded with realistic concerns and struggles. This novel illuminates the unique plight of Mexican-American laborers during the Great Depression, including forced deportation, labor strikes, competition from the Dust Bowl "Okies," profound discrimination, and horrific living conditions. Marvelous historical fiction!
While I have quite enjoyed the historic information and detailed descriptions of both Esperanza's first (her original) life in Mexico (as a member of the ruling, of the powerful classes, as a rich and yes rather spoiled, cherished daughter of a prominent and socially, financially connected gentleman fruit rancher used to generally getting her own way and having a fleet of servants at her beck and call) and later (after her father's tragic death and Esperanza and her mother's quite sudden fall from riches to rags), Esperanza's immigration with her mother (along with her mother's housekeeper and family) to the United States of America and her life (Esperanza's often considerably more difficult and painful existence) as a migrant farm labourer, I cannot really say that I have found Pam Muñoz Ryan's Esperanza Rising all that personally and emotionally satisfying and pleasurable a reading experience.
For one, there is not nearly enough character development presented even with regard to the main characters, even for Esperanza, her mother and indeed their former housekeeper Hortensia and in particular her son (and Esperanza's possible love interest) Miguel, and for two, in many ways Esperanza Rising presents a too obviously and stereotypically fairytale like division of good versus evil (with especially Esperanza's Mexican paternal uncles reminding me rather over-strongly of classic cardboard like villains). And yes, while this might work and even be rather expected in a fairy tale, in traditional folklore, in Esperanza Rising (which is after all supposed to be a novel of historic fiction and is also according to the author's note at the back loosely based on Pam Muñoz Ryan's own family history) the fact that so often things are either black or while, that while Esperanza's attitudes do somewhat change on the surface by the end of the novel, she still does not really ever internally develop and change all that much or rather not enough for me, this has definitely made me enjoy Esperanza Rising not nearly as much as I had fondly hoped (for while I did and do appreciate much of the historical information etc. I have been presented with, the lack of character development in Esperanza Rising and the sometimes rather liberal use of either/or folklore like stereotyping really does rather rub me the wrong proverbial way). Two and a half stars, but rounded up to three stars, as Esperanza Rising is not in any manner majorly problematic or inappropriate, just not narrationally developed enough for my personal reading requirements and tastes!
Wow what a powerfull story. Need I say that I spent an hour in tears as I was reading the book. Woke up with puffy eyes the next day. Unfortunately students only get to experience the Grapes of Wrath in high school. How marvelous would it be to also introduce them to Esperanza Rising, perhaps as part of an immigration unit and then have them analyze the different experiences of these two groups, the "Oakies" and the Mexican immigrants. I was so moved by the selfless act of Ramona to give up all that she was accustomed to, all the luxuries, all the wealth in order to set a positive example for her daughter. How difficult it must have been for her. This was probably why it took her so long to recover from her illness. I was so scared that Esperanza would lose her too, and quite honestly I would have been a wreck if that would have happened. Pam Munoz Ryan does such an excellent job of painting the setting in your mind and in developing each of the characters. At the beginning of the book Esperanza was a little girl and in only a few short months she developed and matured into a woman. A woman who finally realized what was important in life. I was thrilled to read the author's note to discover that in real life Esperanza and "Miguel" married. The perfect ending to a wonderfully written story.
I wanted to like this book, but I struggled with liking the characters. There was not one character I really cared about. I found I cared more about the roses they were transplanting than the people who were transplanted. I did like the growth I saw in Esperanza.
This story was too didactic. Munoz didn't trust her reader enough to figure out what was right; she felt she had to tell them. She also had too many plot lines going that seemed to go nowhere at all. Murdered father, greedy and mean uncles wanting to marry mom and send child away, illegal immigration, mom in hospital, boy she likes but talks down to, strike and work unfairness, dust storms, Oakies coming to take their jobs, racism, etc - not one of which was addressed adequately. I felt like this story was all over the place.This seemed like a watered-down, rose-colored glasses Grapes of Wrath. Did the family end up okay? They now have a new mouth to feed and limited jobs, but everything will be okay? A thirteen year old girl would not have made enough money during that time period to pay her mother's hospital bills, support herself, and save money to bring Grandma to California - too unrealistic.
The setting is Mexico, shortly after their Revolutionary War. Many of the desperate are resentful of wealthy land owners. Bandits roam the land, and tragedy can strike without warning. Esperanza's charmed life is bitterly interuppted by such a tragedy. She and her mother must flee their beautiful lands and seek work in a labor camp. Her mother promises her hope and a better life, but all Esperanza can see is poverty, dirty living quarters, and difficult, unending work. Her grandmother tells her to "never be afraid of starting over." But can Esperanza face the challenges that are threatening everything she holds dear? A patriotic and passionate work, Esperanza Rising will appeal to youth and adults alike who are seeking their roots and inspiration. -Tiffany J.
**I AM A FIFTH GRADE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER, NOT A CHILD THE AGE THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN FOR, SO PLEASE TAKE MY REVIEW WITH A GRAIN OF SALT**
read this with my fifth grade students, they seemed to really love it and I really enjoyed the commentary made about immigration in this book, and also how it put said commentary into words that a child can understand. I do think this relied heavily on stereotypes though, which is what brought it down a bit for me.
Published in 2000, this book is based on the author’s grandmother’s experience of moving from Mexico to California during the Great Depression. It is a riches to rags story. The family was wealthy and successful in Mexico, but after Esperanza’s father dies and relatives prove untrustworthy, they must find a new path.
The story is told from Esperanza’s perspective. She is age thirteen at the start of the novel. The tragedies are kept at arms-length, though the author does not shy away from portraying the prejudice and deprivations experienced by migrant workers of Mexican descent. It depicts how life can change, and how it is better to adapt than dwell in the past. The young protagonist experiences character growth brought on by hardships and learns some valuable life lessons along the way.
I listened to the audio book, beautifully performed by Trini Alvarado. She articulates well, pronounces the Spanish accurately, and provides a specific voice to each character. Adults may want a little more grit and in-depth examination of the labor issues, but I think it will appeal to young readers, middle grade and higher.
This book was wonderful! I started reading it a while ago, but stopped because I thought it was too sad. (I was at the part about the papayas) I just picked it up again and couldn't put it down! This was, by far, one of the best books I've ever read!
I really enjoyed this story about young Esperanza, whose life is turned upside down after her father's death. Going from a privileged, comfortable life in Mexico on her father's ranch, or a difficult, hard life in California, Esperanza starts out naive and entitled, but undergoes tremendous growth and strength of character by the end of this novel. Plus, I got to learn a little about Mexican workers in California around the Depression: the racism they encountered, their efforts to gain better rights, and forced deportations by the Californian government in response to these workers attempts to organize.
I enjoyed this story, as it brought me to a different perspective about migrations from Mexico than I have had about the past. . . I just never thought much about it. I love Grapes of Wrath and have read that, and Cannery Row, and similar tales of the migrations . . .white migrations. . .forced upon people during the Depression. This YA book had me thinking about other cultures, and the underlying reasons for their needs to flee a homeland.
When I read books like this, I am reminded that I am a daughter of the 50's/60's/70's. I started bona fide kindergarten (no such thing as pre-school in those days) in the early 60's and finished high school mid-70's, and there weren't books like this that I was aware of, and I was a faithful library goin' kid. I would have loved this book, as I do now. I just wish I had read it earlier. It is clear the books - especially school books - that got in my hands were the stories that I was "supposed" to read. And I was raised in So. California, in the LA school district - you'd think there would be plenty of stories available about our southern neighbor. All I remember having to do with Mexican people was not even really Mexican - we had annual history sections about the Californian missions - but I think those were Spanish missions, not Mexican. . . I'm sorry to let my ignorance hang out like this. Feel free to correct me - I'm always ready to be pointed to good truths.
If you haven't, read Esperanza Rising. As for me and my house (8 grandkids), we are going to make sure sometime this summer to lay down on the earth - hopefully my backyard - and listen for the earth's heartbeat.
* * * * * NOTE: This is my second attempt at a response to this book - the first draft was composed on my mobile device and Goodreads ATE it!!! Has that happened to anyone else. . . This is not the first time!@@ Argh!
Trandafirii din Mexic e un roman induiosator despre puterea de a o lua de la capat, de a nu te lasa invins de greutatile vietii, de a spera si de a te bucura de lucrurile frumoase, de zambi in ciuda durerii din suflet. E povestea unei fetite alaturi de care inveti ce inseamna maturizarea fortata si infrunti nedreptatea, dar te bucuri vazand-o cum creste si ce inteleapta devine. E povestea unei mame care sacrifica tot pentru a pastra relatia frumoasa cu fiica ei, care stie sa piarda cu demnitate si sa lupte cu zambet si curaj. O recomand copiilor si adolescentilor, pentru ca e o varsta la care ai impresia ca ti se cuvine totul, ca nu trebuie sa stii sa faci lucruri in viata, pentru ca oricum parintii iti asigura un trai bun si tu iti faci partea invatand. Departe de mine gandul de a judeca, asa am fost si eu si asa suntem toti, la adapostul iubirii si stabilitatii oferite de niste parinti care s-au sacrificat pentru noi. Insa pentru unii, mai putin norocosi, poate veni un moment in viata cand vor pierde acea stabilitate si va trebui sa munceasca pentru a o avea din nou, cot la cot cu parintii. Acesta a fost si cazul micutei Esperanza, o fetita rasfatata, care avea tot ce isi putea dori, fara sa ii pese cum si de unde ... pana cand tatal ei a murit neasteptat, iar ea si mama ei au fost nevoite sa paraseasca mosia si sa o ia de la zero intr-o tara straina, sa invete munca de jos, sa se multumeasca cu conditii umile, dar sa cunoasca cu acest prilej adevarata prietenie. Ramona mi se pare un exemplu bun de mama si femeie, a facut alegeri intelepte pentru ea si fiica ei si a educat-o frumos, ea insasi avand o educatie aleasa, cunoscand bogatia, dar ramanand umila si plina de respect. Mai rar o astfel de femeie. Mi-as fi dorit ca romanul sa nu fie atat de scurt, iar actiunea mai complexa. Insa mi-a placut cum a fost scris, mi-a ajuns la suflet autoarea, iar mesajul este intr-adevar unul important, pentru care merita citita. :)
A wonderful story about a thirteen-year-old Mexican girl, Esperanza, from a well-to-do family who, after the death of her father, is forced to move with her mother and family servants to southern California. They must become migrant workers picking fruits and vegetables and living in a migrant camp. Through the eyes of this privileged child, the reader learns how it feels to "come down" in life, and also how it feels to be "looked down on" by others because of one's ethnicity and social standing, or lack thereof.
Esperanza also does a lot of growing up because of missing her grandmother who doesn't get to come along with them when they leave Mexico, and because of her mother's illness. She has to do a lot of growing up fast.
This story is based on the author's own grandmother's story, and it gives some of the history of migrant workers in the 1930's. It really is a story that includes several different issues that could be taught to younger children and middle-aged children. And even I, as an adult, was interested in learning of this era! Now I understand why it is on Amazon's Top 100 Children's Books List!
Trandafirii din Mexic este povestea Esperanzei, o adolescentă de 13 ani a carei viata se schimba in seara in care tatal ei moare. Daca inainte ducea viata unicei fiice a unui mosier, iubita si rasfatata de cei din jur, va ajunge o simpla imigranta, alaturi de mama ei, in Statele Unite. Esperanza se maturizeaza rapid, munceste din greu pentru familia sa, dar reuseste sa razbata. Este o poveste inspirata din realitate, Esperanza fiind bunica scriitoarei. Povestea este menita sa sensibilizeze cititorii la situatia imigrantilor hispanici, un subiect mereu actual in Statele Unite. Mi-a placut mult aceasta carte, are un stil simplu, dar elocvent, inspira si da speranta.
4.5 Stars. This was a really good read. I was surprised at how much depth there was, considering that it was a young readers book (I would put it at 3rd-5th grade). It tackled really serious issues without being overwhelming and balanced showing and telling when it came to the big issues very well. This is set in the 1930's as the main character, Esperanza, and her family has to move from a place of wealth in Mexico to work in the United States. It tackles issues of classism and racism, including the issue of mass deportations of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans at the time.
Pero que belleza de libro 📖 . Lo leí con mi niña y creo que fue un gran acierto . Un libro inspirador, tierno, conmovedor , capaz de generar emociones y reflexiones y que necesito tener al alcance de mi niña. Trata sobre los retos y prejuicios culturales a los que se enfrentan (hasta la fecha ) los inmigrantes. De la importancia de los valores y la comunidad y de la necesidad de ser resilientes. Creo que compraré muchos libros de Esperanza renace para regalar , porque verdaderamente es una joya que deben leer niños de 10 años en adelante ❤️
I listened to this as an audible book. What a beautiful voice narrator Trini Alvarado has! Her reading was a captivating performance, carrying me into the story even more than if I had read it myself.
When disaster visits wealthy Esperanza Ortega and her family who live on a ranch in Mexico, she and her mama escape to California where they adjust to life as peasants and migrant workers during the Great Depression. Soulful, dramatic, lyrical, and extraordinary are the first words that come to mind to describe this unforgettable novel.