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Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza Rising (original 2000; edition 2002)

by Pam Munoz Ryan, Pam Munoz Ryan

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4,3504481,134 (4.17)59
Title:Esperanza Rising
Authors:Pam Munoz Ryan
Other authors:Pam Munoz Ryan
Info:Scholastic (2002), Paperback, 262 pages
Collections:TED 255
Tags:Immigration, Family, Loss

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Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan (2000)


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This was a book about the adolescence and late childhood of a Mexican girl born to a well-to-do family. Near the beginning of the book, Esperanza's father is murdered. After her uncle burns down Esperanza's home in an effort to force Esperanza's mother to marry him, their family flees the country to America. Esperanza is forced to confront the fact that in her old home, she was often referred to as a "princess" and lived near the top of society, but now as an immigrant in America, her family has very little money and the fact that they are Latin Americans means that they are now second class citizens, at least in the culture of America at the time. I liked this book for a number of reasons, particularly the character development of Esperanza. At the beginning, one might be able to describe her as sheltered and even a little "stuck up," but by the end, she is caring and compassionate for those who are less fortunate, especially after being forced to live in the same conditions. I also liked this book because of it's messages about love; Esperanza's mother was willing to give up her entire way of life so that she didn't have to marry a man she didn't love. Additionally, Esperanza has a romantic interest of her own, which many children would be able to relate to in some way. The central message of this book is acceptance and understanding; Esperanza herself goes through somewhat of a transformation, while simultaneously the reader is exposed to a large number of injustices that immigrants were (and still are in many ways) subject to after moving to America.

Reading Level: 4-8 ( )
  AdamLarson | Dec 9, 2014 |
This story would bring up many discussions and topics. The story may be close to home for some students if they have moved from Mexico to come for the "American Dream" and talk about strength and never giving up hope.
  Madison_DeWeerdt | Dec 8, 2014 |
This historical fiction story is a great one to use a in a classroom to help students better understand the Great Depression. This book is about a young Mexican Immigrant who is forced to move to California with her mother. They must work at a labor camp during the Depression. This book is a great one for helping students understand that the Great Depression affected people of all types, not just lower class families.
  manemeth | Dec 8, 2014 |
A wealthy land-owner class young girl and her mother must flee the family ranch in Mexico to work as migrant laborers during the Dust Bowl era in California.
  lrubin75 | Dec 7, 2014 |
Esperanza Rising is a great book about a young girl whose life is turned upside down by a violent crime. This causes a change in her family structure, her home, and her socioeconomic status. It's a great story about hope and trust and personal strength. Her father was killed and she and her mother and her late father's employees were forced to move to an American work camp to escape her uncles, who are scheming to kill them and take their fortune. It would be really easy for a person in this situation to lose trust in people, but she remains close with those who moved with her as well as her abuela. And the strength and support that she receives from them is what gets her to the good place at the end, where she tells the younger children, "do not ever be afraid to start over." ( )
  hphipp2 | Dec 5, 2014 |
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Aquel que hoy se cae, se levantará mañana.
He who falls today may rise tomorrow.

Es más rico el rico cuando empobrece que el pobre cuando enriquece.
The rich person is richer when he becomes poor, than the poor person when he becomes rich.

- Mexican proverbs
To the memory of Esperana Ortega Muñoz Hernandez Elgart, mi abuelita.

Baskets of grapes to my editor, Tracy Mack, for patiently waiting for fruit to fall.

Roses to Ozella Bell, Jess Marquez, Don Bell, and Hope Muñoz Bell for sharing their stories.

Smooth stones and yarn dolls to Ibabel Schon, PhD., and Leticia Guadarrama, Teresa Mlawerr, and Macarena Salas for their expertise and assistance.
First words
"Our land is alive, Esperanza," said Papa, taking her small hand as they walked through the gentle slopes of the vineyard.
Did you know that when you lie down on the land, you can feel it breathe? That you can feel it's heart beating?
"We are like the phoenix," said Abuelita. "Rising again, with a new life ahead of us."
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Book description
Curriculum Connection:  3rd Grade Social Studies Std. 1 History:

Concepts and skills students master:2. People in the past influence the development and interaction of different communities or regions
d.  Describe the history, interaction, and contribution of the various peoples and cultures that have lived in or migrated to a community or region (DOK 1-2)
Esperanza believed her life would be wonderful forever. She would always live on her family's ranch in Mexico. She would always have fancy dresses and a beautiful home filled with servants. Papa and Abuelita would always be with her.
But a sudden tragedy shatters her world and forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California, where they settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Experanza isn't ready for the hard labor, finanacial struggles brought on by the Great Depression., and lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick, and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances - because Mama's life and her own depend on it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 043912042X, Paperback)

A reissue of Pam Munoz Ryan's bestselling backlist with a distinctive new author treatment.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:12 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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