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Esperanza Rising
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Archive: Other Books > Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan - 4 stars

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Ellen | 2314 comments Esperanza Ortega has been living a charmed life in Mexico. Her father is a wealthy farmer and Esperanza has grown up privileged with servants, excellent schooling and loving parents. One day her father is killed by bandits and her cruel uncles, one a bank manager and the other the mayor, take the land that Esperanza has always called home. She and her mother flee to California to work in the migrant camps picking the fruits and vegetables as the come in season. Only 13 years old, Esperanza is shocked at the conditions in which she and her mother are forced to live. For a child who always had servants, Esperanza is woefully ignorant of everyday life. When Esperanza's mother becomes deathly ill with "Valley Fever", Esperanza is forced to become the head of her small family and to quickly learn how to survive her new life.

Even though this story is set in 1930, the theme is quite topical with today's immigration concerns. Esperanza, her mother, and most of the people in the camps knew they could be deported without notice. Some of the deportees were actually American citizens who had never set foot on Mexican soil. Although Esperanza started out as a fish out of water, she was brave and smart and learned how to survive and even thrive. This is a young adult novel but I enjoyed it quite a bit.


annapi | 5153 comments This has been languishing on my TBR for some time... too many books, too little time!


message 3: by Magdalena (new) - added it

Magdalena | 414 comments Don't know when I'll get to this but adding it!


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6380 comments 5***** and a ❤ from me!

Excerpt from My Review
What I really love about this story is that Esperanza is a realistic 13-year-old. She’s very unhappy about the change. She finds it difficult to adapt to the new realities of her reduced circumstances, and is embarrassed that she is so ill-equipped to handle the work she’s expected to perform. She pouts and is rude to “those peasants.” Esperanza does finally realize that it is up to her to change her attitude; she must learn to let go of the past and to embrace that she is rich in the love of family and friends.


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