Beverly B, August 4, 2013 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Reader's will be inspired by Pam Munoz Ryan's story based on her grandmother's life. They will also be inspired by Esperanza's charm and tenaciousness. Esperanza Rising is a classic. Part historical fiction and part coming-of-age, it is compelling from the first page to the last. Thirteen year old Esperanza lived a very privileged and sheltered life on an estate in 1930's Mexico until her father's murder. She and her mother are forced to flee the country to escape Esperanza's evil uncles. They come to the U.S., get jobs working on a farm and live in a Mexican farm labor camp. Coming to the US in the middle of the Great Depression when thousands of American farmers are abandoning the plains states for work as migrant laborers makes Esperanza's new life even more challenging. Although the working conditions on the farm and living conditions in the camp are not described in the horrid details that would be historically accurate, the book does a good job describing the struggle for fair pay and improved working conditions and the blatant injustice of the Mexican Deportation Act. The story does go into heartbreaking detail on the struggle of Esperanza and her mother to adjust to their drastic life change and their determination to assimilate and create a home for themselves. Pam Munoz Ryan does an excellent job of sharing her family's legacy and journey to achieve the American dream.
Esperanza Ortega has fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and the promise of one day rising to her mother's position presiding over all of Rancho de las Rosas. But tragedy shatters that dream, forcing Esperanza and Mama to flee from Mexico to California and settle in a farm labor camp. There, Esperanza must confront the challenges that are accepted by her own people.
Esperanza Ortega lives in a beautiful home filled with servants and the promise of one day presiding over all of Rancho de las Rosas. But tragedy shatters that dream, forcing Esperanza and Mama to flee from Mexico to California and settle in a farm labor camp.
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