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Pam Muñoz Ryan

Author of Esperanza Rising

63+ Works 28,007 Members 1,478 Reviews 8 Favorited

About the Author

Author Pam Muñoz Ryan was born in Bakersfield, California on December 25, 1951. She received a B. A. in child development and a M. A. in education from San Diego State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a bilingual Head Start teacher and as an early childhood program show more administrator. At first, she wrote adult books about child development, but soon switched to writing children's books. She has written over twenty-five picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for young readers. The novel Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Peace Award, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and the Americas Award Honor Book, is based on her own grandmother's immigration from Mexico to California. Riding Freedom has also won many awards including the national Willa Cather Award and the California Young Reader Medal. When Marian Sang, a picture book about singer Marian Anderson, won numerous awards including the ALA Sibert Honor and NCTE's Orbis Pictus Award. In 2015 her title Echo made The New York Times Best Seller List. She also won a Kirkus Prize in the children's literature category with her title 'Echo'. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: By Jeffrey Beall - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38255621


Works by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza Rising (2000) — Author — 10,590 copies
Becoming Naomi León (2004) 2,930 copies
Riding Freedom (1998) 2,491 copies
Echo (2015) 1,686 copies
The Dreamer (2010) 1,191 copies
Hello Ocean (2001) 1,135 copies
The Flag We Love (1996) 1,105 copies
Paint the Wind (2007) 900 copies
Mice and Beans (2001) 775 copies
Tony Baloney: School Rules (2012) 304 copies
A Pinky Is a Baby Mouse (1997) 278 copies
Mañanaland (2020) 268 copies
The Crayon Counting Book (1996) 268 copies
One Hundred Is a Family (1994) 217 copies
Tony Baloney (2011) 203 copies
Tony Baloney Buddy Trouble (2013) 163 copies
Nacho and Lolita (2005) 160 copies
Our California (2008) 110 copies
Tony Baloney: Pen Pal (1656) 97 copies
Mud Is Cake (2002) 85 copies
What Makes a Family? (2009) 77 copies
How Do You Raise a Raisin? (2003) 45 copies
A Box of Friends (2003) 32 copies
California Here We Come! (1997) 32 copies
Tony Baloney: Pen Pal (2015) 12 copies
Doug's Treasure Hunt (1999) 6 copies
Hayalperest (2013) 2 copies
Il sognatore 1 copy
Les Roses du Mexique (2003) 1 copy
Where's Porkchop? (1999) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Gift Of The Magi And Other Stories (Scholastic Classics) (1990) — Introduction, some editions — 769 copies
First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants (2004) — Contributor — 194 copies
Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories (2012) — Contributor — 60 copies
Guys Read: Heroes and Villains (2017) — Contributor — 45 copies
Peace Story (2010) — Contributor — 6 copies


adventure (114) America (102) animals (135) biography (301) California (345) chapter book (305) children (131) children's (213) children's literature (111) coming of age (115) death (117) family (688) fantasy (130) fiction (995) friendship (108) Great Depression (349) Hispanic (239) historical (100) historical fiction (1,023) history (287) horses (173) immigrants (151) immigration (387) Mexican American (109) Mexico (509) middle school (161) migrant workers (145) multicultural (381) music (204) non-fiction (203) novel (130) ocean (153) picture book (371) poetry (140) poverty (135) realistic fiction (340) Spanish (237) to-read (291) YA (165) young adult (184)

Common Knowledge



Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Peace Award, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and the Americas Award Honor Book
swopester | 806 other reviews | Dec 5, 2023 |
Independent Reading Level: 4th to 6th grade.

Awards: Pura Belpré Award for Writing and Jane Addams Children's Book Award
SamanthaBieker | 806 other reviews | Dec 5, 2023 |
Independent Reading Grades (3-5)
Pura Belpre Award
Americas Award Honor Book
Willa Cather Award Winner
Jane Addams Children's Book Award WInner
madisonspivey | 806 other reviews | Dec 4, 2023 |
Ryan and Selznick (Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride, 1999, etc.) reunite for another magical collaboration, this time presenting Marian Anderson to a young audience. Using the visual metaphor of an operatic presentation, the production opens on the Metropolitan Opera stage just before performance, followed by a spread in which the audience watches as the curtain rises and a street scene reveals a tiny figure singing in a brightly-lit window. The shape of the volume lends itself to the broad sweep of the stage and even the title page reads like the show’s program. Anderson’s story is perhaps not well known to younger children, but Ryan does a good job of making it accessible. In simply stated prose she acquaints young readers, who may be disbelieving, with a time of social injustice when a person of color could not pursue a professional career in concert music and it was an act of personal courage to sing before racially mixed audiences. Verses of Anderson’s most famous songs are included as they have meaningful application for events. The account includes the most notable episode in her life when, denied access to Washington’s Constitution Hall because of her race, Marian sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before a crowd of thousands—black and white. Selznick’s carefully researched, sepia-toned, acrylic illustrations dramatize Anderson’s strong, handsome face on most pages. That face is faithfully and powerfully rendered, eyes closed when singing, with an intense, almost sublime engagement in her music. The work culminates with another history-making moment when she realizes her dream and becomes the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. Selznick depicts her in this spread standing triumphantly in the spotlight, a vivid spot of color in an otherwise monochromatic treatment. A lengthy “encore” includes personal details and history from both author and illustrator; an “ovation” cites resources. Perfectly paced and perfectly pitched, this never loses sight of the fact that Marian Anderson was both a world-class musician and a powerful symbol to her people. A bravura performance. (notable dates, discography) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

-Kirkus Review
… (more)
CDJLibrary | 101 other reviews | Nov 9, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Brian Selznick Illustrator
Edwin Fotheringham Illustrator
Joe Cepeda Illustrator
Peter Sis Illustrator
Mark Astrella Illustrator
Ralph Masiello Illustrator
Diane Degroat Illustrator
Frank Mazzola Illustrator
Benrei Huang Illustrator
Claudia Rueda Illustrator
Rafael Lopez Illustrator
David McPhail Illustrator
Kay Salem Illustrator
Mary Whyte Illustrator
Mark Bramhall Narrator
Rebecca Soler Narrator
Gail Nelson Narrator


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