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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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4,2864301,151 (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 is a good multicultural book to read to young children so they can have an understanding of other cultures besides their own. It tells the story of Esperanza who thought she would always have a perfect life on a Ranch in Mexico with her family, but then the story turns when she and her mom have to flee to California. This book is good for kids because it outlines the fact that it is not always a happy story and there will always be hard times in life.
  Jclark5 | Oct 15, 2014 |
I enjoyed reading “Esperanza Rising” for many reasons. The first reason I enjoyed this chapter book was the language used to illustrate the story. Many words found in the book were in Spanish. When the Spanish word was first introduced, it stated the meaning of the word in English right after. For example, when the kids were making fun of Esperanza, the girl said, “iLa Cenicienta! Cinderella!” This quote states the word in Spanish and then translates the meaning in English. Although the plot was sad at times, I found myself always engaged in the text. The plot of this story was developed well. This story inspires the reader to persevere through hard obstacles and stay strong. I also enjoyed the aspect of family that played a very strong role in this book. For example, after her family had lost nearly everything, Esperanza still had her family to support her. I found this quote to be important as well as moving, “I am poor, but I am rich. I have my children, I have a garden with roses, and I have my faith and the memories of those who had gone before me. What more is there?” This quote pushes the reader to think beyond materials and objects but more about what one cannot buy. The main idea of this story is to not take anything for granted and cherish the things you cannot buy, as in family. This book was written very well and I would recommend it to anyone this book. ( )
  vharsh1 | Oct 15, 2014 |
  mshampson | Oct 15, 2014 |
Summary: At the beginning of the story Esperanza is living with her parents and grandmother on a large plot of land in Mexico. Her family is very wealthy and because of this Esperanza is used to fine clothing and toys as well as lavish clothing. Her life is wonderful until one day her father goes out in the fields to check on the grape harvest and is killed. Shortly afterwards Esperanza's house is lit on fire by her evil uncles in the middle of the night. They lose everything and decide to flee to America with their servants Hortensia, Alfonso, and Miguel. Esperanza's grandmother goes to stay with her sister because she is injured and cannot make the journey. After what seems like months they meet up with Alfonso's brother at a work farm in California. Esperanza's mother goes to work in the field while Esperanza stays home to take care of the babies. When Mama gets sick Esperanza begins working in the farm sheds to pay for Mama's hospital bills and save enough money to bring her grandmother to America. There is also a lot of talk about unionizing and striking in order to receive better working conditions. Esperanza just wants to keep working to make money. When Esperanza goes to get the money she has saved to buy Abuelita's ticket she realizes it is gone. She assumes Miguel has taken it to go look for work on the railroad but he surprises her a few days later by returning with Abuelita. Esperanza is thrilled that her family is back together and has a new outlook on life.

Review: I thought this book was wonderfully written. The author does an excellent job of using interesting detail and word choice to create a story that the author can really connect to. The central message she conveys is one of hope and second chances. Esperanza faces many obstacles as she begins her new life in California but her strength and determination help her to get through even the most difficult times. The author also includes a wonderful amount of vivid detail that helps the reader to create mental images of what is going on in the story. I loved that the author used the Spanish names of fruit for each of the chapter titles. I think that this was a wonderful detail and it helped the reader to keep up with the time of year and what was going on in the story. ( )
  kkerns3 | Oct 14, 2014 |
This story is about a girl named Esperanza, she is a wealthy young Mexican girl that has grown up on a ranch called El Rancho de las Rosas near Aguascalientes, Mexico. Esperanza and her family are treated like royalty. Esperanza is treated like a princess. Esperanza's father dies and her uncles blackmail Esperanza's mother. They want her to marry one of them so her uncles can have half of their estate. When Esperanza's mother tells them no, they burn down their house. Esperanza's mother takes Esperanza moves to California. Esperanza and her mother have no money. There they have to face hard work and labor that they are not used to because their servants usually do it for them. This is during the Great Depression era. Esperanza learns how to take care of her mother by working in the fields. Esperanza goes through many emotions. She feels sad because she misses her father and she misses her grandma. She also misses her home. She also feels angry because Esperanza's mother becomes very ill. In the end of the story, Esperanza's mother gets well and her grandmas moves to California. In this book, Esperanza learns the importance of family, friends and community.

My reaction- I enjoyed this book because it shows a girl who is practically given everything. She has servants who work for her and her family. In one second, everything changed when her father died. I love the fact that Esperanza has to learn what it is like not to be rich and wealthy and to have to work hard to earn money. I also enjoyed this story because you see many heartfelt emotions of Esperanza.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. In the classroom, I could have a discussion questions about the story and the students can answer them.

2. In the classroom, we can talk about the Great Depression.
  AmberDimmitt | Oct 14, 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.
Haiku summary

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)

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