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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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4,2364051,173 (4.18)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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Esperanza grew up on a Ranch her family owned in Mexico, although after the unfortunate and heartbreaking death of her father, her family made a tough decision to travel to California unnoticed by the malicious brothers of Esperanza's father, who wanted to take over their ranch. Esperanza and her mother, along with close servants who worked for them, resided in camps for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza was initially resistant to perform any hard labor, since she had been used to her life of fancy dresses and a beautiful home in Mexico. As her mother gets very ill and has to stay at the hospital for care, Esperanza discovers new friendships/relationships, and realizes that everyone at the camp is their to survive and feed families, she begins to identify herself with the rest of the workers. In the end, she is reunited with her healthy mother, Abueltia (grandmother), and celebrates her birthday in happiness and in memory of her father.

This heart wrenching book portrayed the big message of teamwork, determination, and dealing with family struggles. I personally could not put this book down. Esperanza and her family encountered many financial struggles along with difficulty of adapting to a new life of horrible occurrences, such as death and sickness. I particularly favored the part where Esperanza's grandmother taught her how to thread, because this conveyed a symbolic message in the book: life is never a smooth ride, you will rise and fall, and rise again. Esperanza's family, along with the friends they stayed by at the camp, all worked together and had specific jobs. I loved the part when Esperanza realized she was not knowledgeable when it came to house work, but she was determined to learn and make a change in order to help everyone around her. Isabel, a carefree character in the book, was my favorite character because she was always looking on the bright side and helped Esperanza change her mentality about her new life. This book is great for children, especially those who have migrated from other countries, because the children can relate to the struggles portrayed in the book. ( )
  mkaray1 | Sep 19, 2014 |
I am actually surprised that I liked this book. At first I went into it thinking that I would not like it because the book is not something that I would normally read, but I was pleasantly surprised. At first I did not like the character of Esperanza. I felt that she was entitled and selfish and just someone that I would not want to associate myself with. She was disgusted by the poor when she was leaving Mexico and would treat them like servants. I get that this was what she was raised to do, but I just didn't like it.

There was one quote about the differences between her and Miguel that I found interesting. "She understood that Miguel was the housekeeper's son and she was the ranch owner's daughter and between them ran a deep river. Esperanza stood on one side and Miguel stood on the other and the river could never be crossed." I felt that she was overlooking a relationship with Miguel just because they were raised differently. Towards the end of the book, I did start to like Esperanza more. She began to treat others equally and instead of hiding from the poor behind her mother, she was interacting with them and helping them in ways that she would have never done before she moved to California.

I felt that this book is good for students that are immigrants themselves or who have family that are immigrants. The author clearly shows the struggles that immigrants have to go through to get to a new country and the challenges they face once they get there. The themes in this book were more serious than I would have thought for a children's book. There was family, growing up, death, racism, and poverty, just to name a few. I liked that the author had so many themes because I think that if a children has to face the issue when they are young then they should also have the chance to read a book that is somewhat like their own situation.

With the incorporation of Spanish words, this was a very inspiring story, full struggles, hardships, and hope. It is a story about starting over in life and I think that everyone wants that at some point in there life. ( )
  sreinh2 | Sep 17, 2014 |
Summary: Esperanza Rising is a story about a wealthy girl living in Mexico and the hardships she has to overcome. These hardships include deaths, illnesses, being separated from loved ones and losing her money. Esperanza, her mom and some friends move from Mexico to California in order to make a better life for themselves. In California, even more hardships come for Esperanza to overcome. After a year of hard work, bad living conditions, and more illnesses, Esperanza finally realizes she has people who love her and care about her, finally accepting her new life.

Argument: Overall, I really liked this story. It was very quick and easy for me to read. I found it to be very sad at times but definitely gives a realistic explanation of what life was like for Mexican immigrants. I found myself feeling so bad for Esperanza and wanting to help her out. The use of Spanish incorporated into the book was another part that I really liked. I think multicultural students could definitely connect and relate to this book in many different ways. When it comes to the way the immigrants had to travel when leaving Mexico and coming to the United States and the hardships Mexican-Americans had to endure once they were here, this book could really help students realize that these things actually go on in the world. The central message that I got out of this book was about the hardships Mexican immigrants had to endure in order to live in America and have a better life. Another message I got out of this book was that even when life is different than the way it used to be, it is important to make the best of it! ( )
  csteve13 | Sep 16, 2014 |
Review: This book was about post-revolutionary Mexico. This story takes place during the great depression. It was full of suspense and was very easy to get attached to the main characters.

Summary: This book was about a little girl named Esperanza and her family. It talks about the struggles that she has when her wealthy family loses their farm after her fathers tragic death. Her family moves to California to work on a farm instead of owning one. Esperanza has a hard time adjusting to becoming a peasant and actually having to work to support her family. After her mama gets sick, she has to become the main provider for their family. After accepting her new life as a farm worker, Esperanza starts to change her outlook on life. Esperanza finally realizes that she is lucky to have the memories

Argument: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. It started out very interesting and there was never a dull moment in the story. I would recommend this story for older children to read because it has a lot of information on mexican history and their life.

There were many big ideals to this story. In the story Esperanza brings up how Papa always said "wait a little while and the fruit will fall into your hand." I took this meaning as if you wait patiently, your hard work and commitment will pay off. The book is called Esperanza Rising which now I realize that the rising part is about coming from the bottom and rising to the top and overcoming the tragic experiences. ( )
  knold1 | Sep 16, 2014 |
Summary: "Esperanza Rising" is a chapter book detailing the events of Esperanza and her familiy as they are forced to immigrant to the United States from Mexico. Esperanza lived a peaceful life in Mexico, but where her Papa is killed by bandits, she and her familiy have no choice but to immigrant. This is due to her uncle's obsession with wanting to marry Esperanza's mother so that he may have an upper hand in the upcoming governor election. Once in the state of California, Esperanza is forced to alter her lifestyle to that of a poor, migrant worker. Despite the difficult times of strikes and hard work, Esperanza works through it all and realizes that it is perfectly fine to have to "start all over".

Review: This was one of the most powerful chapter books I have read in a long time. It is interesting to say that, especially since this is a book written for a younger audience. There are several twists and turns in the book, such as when Miguel disappears and reapers with Esperanza's grandmother. I do not remember reading this story while growing up, but I wish I had. ( )
  cclark37 | Sep 16, 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)

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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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