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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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5,143568869 (4.19)73
Title:Esperanza Rising
Authors:Pam Munoz Ryan
Other authors:Pam Munoz Ryan
Info:Scholastic (2002), Paperback, 262 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Lit Circle Book

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Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan (2000)


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English (564)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  All languages (567)
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Summary :
Esperanza Rising is about a young girl who has a wonderful life, that is until something terrible happens. She lived on El Rancho de las Rosas in Mexico, where her family owned the land and were rich. They had servants who did everything for them, and they had workers who work on their farms. They had the perfect life. Esperanza was getting ready for her birthday celebration when something bad happened. Her father was killed by bandits. Esperanza and her mother were left with only the house and whatever was contained in it. The land was given to Papa's step-brother since women couldn't own land. That is when more bad things happened. Esperanza uncle burned down the house because Esperanza's mother refused to marry him. That left them with nothing. Esperanza had lost her father, and home. Esperanza and her mother planned to travel to the U.S to get away from her mean uncle. So they traveled secretly with some of their servants (Alfonso, Hortensia, Miguel). While they travel they have to leave Esperanza's grandma behind to get better from her getting hurt in the fire, but before they leave she promises her grandchild that they will reunite one day. She leaves her with some encouraging words, "Don't be afraid to start over," (p.49)Throughout their travel, Esperanza doesn't resize that her and her mother are now poor and will have to actually work for money. On the train she wonders why they are sitting with peasants, and in her mind she feels as though when they get to the u.s life well be the same as in Mexico. They will have a big house and servants to tend to their every need. But is she wrong. Once they get to California she learns the lesson hard that they are now peasants. She complains about everything and gets embarrassed a lot because doesn't know how to do peasant things like sweep. But with a little help she learns. Life is somewhat ok, until her mother gets sick. Her mother gets so bad that she has to go stay at the hospital. This leaves Esperanza to step up and become the working person in the family. Her viewpoint on life changes after that. She realizes that life is not all about party's and pretty dresses. She works out in the sheds everyday paying for her mother's doctor bills and medicine. Plus putting a little aside in money orders. She was hoping to save money up to send to her grandma, so she come to the u.s and help make her mother better. Esperanza's mother stays in the hospital for 5 months. Before she comes home Esperanza's money orders go missing. She believes Miguel took it for his travel to find work after their fight. When her mother finally comes home, so doe Miguel with a surprise for Esperanza. He has traveled back to Mexico to to bring Esperanza's grandma to the u.s. The story ends with the family celebrating Esperanza's 14th birthday. A Birthday not like one from the past, but it was still a celebration none the less.

This story is a good read for a 5th grader to read by themselves. I feel that a 4th grade teacher could read it to their class as a whole. It is a easy book to follow with not a lot of big words. It is a great book for those classes who are learning both English and Spanish. It has plenty of Spanish's words, and beside these words they translate it in English. For example, "Buena Suzette, good luck," (p.78). I really enjoyed reading this book that I couldn't put it down until I was done. It teaches a good lesson. That lesson is that life isn't about money and fancy things. While those things an be nice to have, they can easily disappear. The most important thing in life is family. This is a lesson I feel the world needs to learn, me being apart of that. So overall it is a good read for everyone to read.

The teacher could already have the Spanish words written on the board or a large white piece of paper. With this the teacher could go over the words before she gets to it in the book to help the students learn Spanish. Once they get to the word in the book could draw a picture beside the word. For example the word Abuelita means grandma in English.
The teacher could draw picture to help the students understand the book better. For example draw the journal of Esperanza's life from Mexico to California.
Have the students do a think aloud or even write about if they were Esperanza's, how would they feel?

Craft Elements:
The teacher could assign a writing assignment to the class to compare and contrast their life to the life of Esperanza's.
The book is set during the time period of the Great Depression. The teacher could tie this book into teaching her class about the Great Depression.
  Kim_Brewer2017 | Aug 27, 2016 |
Historical Fiction Novel Assignment
  Jackie.Spencer | Jul 26, 2016 |
This is a very popular book in my library. This book is historical fiction with a little magical realism (which is very popular in Latin American countries.) The novel centers on Esperenza and her time as a farm worker in the great depressions. This book should be standard in any library grade 5-8. ( )
  JimStork | Jul 22, 2016 |
I greatly enjoyed this coming of age story. Esperanza faced much bigger struggles than most teenage girls do as they come of age, but the character did not take them in stride, she worked hard, struggled not to give up, and really matured though out the novel. My only complaint would be not getting to learn a little more about her relationship with Miguel. The author hints toward a romantic relationship from the get go but never delivers on where the two will end up in relation to one another. :( ( )
  Lynda_Garza | Jul 22, 2016 |
Lovely book about Mexican farm workers during Great Depression. ( )
  lizzieross | Jun 21, 2016 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Esperanza grows up on a Mexican farm in a wealthy family. When her father is killed, she and her mother lose everything and must migrate to the US. There she must work and live as a poor immigrant. Finally, at the end, she and her family are reunited with her grandmother, who had to stay in Mexico due to injury.
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:38 -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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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