Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising

Book - 2000
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Pura Belpré Award WinnerIRA Notable Book for a Global SocietyNew York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 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.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2000.
ISBN: 9780439120418
Characteristics: 262 p. ;,22 cm.


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Feb 05, 2021

Esperanza rising is about a rich spoiled girl in Mexico who has everything she could ever want to be taken away from her by a tragedy. Through this tragic event, she is forced to move to California with a family that works for her. She had a hard time adapting to the circumstance in the beginning, but, eventually learned how dire her situation was. She then learns the importance of her role in taking care of her family and is overall humbled by her journey. To me, this book was boring; a book like this doesn’t appeal to people my age group. Although, it was interesting learning about how Esperanza rose to the occasion and the theme of the book was good. I enjoyed reading about Esperanza and her love interest and how they were “forbidden,” but, I didn’t enjoy the story overall. I think this is a good book to teach kids a good lesson, but not a good personal favorite book.

Oct 17, 2020

This story by Ryan set in the Great Depression of the 20th century covers topics such as downfall and racism. Esperanza starts off living wealthy in a mansion until her father was murdered by bandits, which caused their family’s property to go to her uncle Tio Luis. However, he threatens to marry Esperanza’s mother which created a longing for Esperanza and her mother to flee to a Mexican labor camp in California, leaving Esperanza’s grandmother Abuelita behind. This novel will certainly appeal to those who are interested in the history of California or the Great Depression in general.

Sep 30, 2020

Esperanza Rising’s concept is immigration and trying to fight for their independence. I read this book back in 5th grade and I didn’t understand much but it was still really heart warming to me. Before moving to America during the Great Depression, Esperanza was in a happy and affluent family. She was always fed with delicious food and dressed in the best dresses. After something big happened, all the wonderful things she was blessed with disappeared. This causes her mom and her to travel to America for a new chance. Although they came to America at the worst time, the Great Depression. Esperanza’s mom becomes sick and a strike rises in their workforce. Esperanza is faced with these conflicts and has to rise above herself for her own life. This book really made me emotional in some parts. It makes me feel how lucky my situation is and just brings all of my emotions.

Aug 16, 2020

Age 10+

icecream4books Jun 15, 2020

A beautiful, poetically written historical novel of a wealthy Mexican girl whose family loses everything in 1930 and must flee with former servants to become farmworkers in California. Many themes are woven together like a tapestry in this story: coping with loss, adapting to a new culture/place, class/racial tensions, putting others above self, “rising from the ashes”, the value and dignity of all people, the value of hard work. Inspiring & powerful - I would recommend without reservation, from preteens to adults.

JCLBeckyC Mar 20, 2019

I read this book just after my mother died. I found it quite comforting. I could easily relate to the characters even though I’m a middle-class, middle-aged white woman born forty years after this novel takes place. All people, no matter our backgrounds, grieve when our loved ones die. It’s a sad fact, but also a reassuring reminder that we are not alone in our shared humanity. Recommended for the bereaved, or anyone interested in reading a realistic historical fiction account of immigration and social class divisions during the Great Depression. Read-alikes: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

Nov 20, 2018

This was a recent selection from my Book Club, and made a nice companion piece to The Grapes of Wrath, which we read in the spring of this year. It was interesting to compare the work experiences and living conditions of Esperanza and her family to that of the Joad Family's, albeit in a shorter and less complicated form.

JCLScottS Mar 23, 2018

Functioning as modern American fairy tale, Esperanza is tasked with rectifying her father's untimely death, her mother's sickness, and the complicated politics of labor relations in Depression-era California. An inspiring and surprisingly dense work of art.

AnnabelleLee27 Dec 12, 2017

Loved this beautiful, rich, and moving book; a coming of age story about a young girl who leaves Mexico to live and work in the Califonia fields during the Great Depression. The characters are well drawn and the setting is realistic and illuminating. The writing itself is elegantly sparse and expressive without being manipulative or preachy which gives the book surprising emotional resonance and power. Although the book is written for young readers (ages 8-12), this wonderful book is a meaningful and inspiring read for all ages. Highly recommended!

Oct 04, 2017

I really love this book and own a hard copy of it. I first read it back in fifth grade as part of a group reading, despite being Mexican my Spanish was flawed in certain areas such as reading. I clumsily read the Spanish words, not always recognizing words I've heard my parents and I used verbally in written form. And yet I kept coming back to it and rereading because i could easily relate to many of Esperanza's experiences with growing up and dealing with hard situations (but perhaps not the exact same thing). It's a book I hold near and dear to me, one that really affirmed my connection to my Hispanic roots in a way I understood. Pam Muñez Ryan has a way with words that bring back memories of my own childhood, she makes it easy to relate to her characters.

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May 06, 2021

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maroon_rabbit_8 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 16

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burgundy_dog_136 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 7

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Jul 25, 2012

esperanzas dad dies herr mom and her have to go move to south california during the great depression


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Jul 25, 2012

i herd my mom calling me


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