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Esperanza Rising (McDougal Littell Library) Paperback – September 27, 2016
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From Publishers Weekly
"With a hint of magical realism, this robust novel set in 1930 captures a Mexican girl's fall from riches and her immigration to California," said PW in our Best Books citation. Ages 8-12. (June)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Inspired by her grandmother's immigration stories, Pamela Mu-oz Ryan (Scholastic 2000) offers valuable glimpses of the lives of Mexican-American farm workers during the Depression. When her father dies, 13-year-old Esperanza and her mother are forced to abandon their privileged lives and move to California. At first the proud girl is appalled that they must share a cramped row house and work at menial jobs, but when her mother becomes gravely ill, she learns the value of generous friends and her own inner resources. This coming-of-age story also looks at the economic and social issues of that era, and the author's note adds valuable factual information. Trini Alvarado's narration is adroit and melodic as she handles text that skillfully intersperses Spanish phrases and songs. Pairing this story with Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Cat Running (Delacorte, 1994) will give listeners broader insights into the difficulties of the 1930's. This recording is a solid choice for all elementary and middle school audiobook collections, and a necessity for libraries serving Spanish-speaking populations.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
Everything has changed for Esperanza once she arrives to America. She no longer has servants, wealth or her grandma to keep her comfort. She must rise above all these changes in order to survive. She has to learn how to work and provide for her family, while still grieving her father’s death. When her mother becomes sick from a dust storm and gets worse due to depression, Esperanza has to work even harder. She goes from not knowing how to sweep to being a productive worker like everyone else. Esperanza proves herself to the others when she works without complaining and attempts to save her earning to bring her grandmother to California with them. While this is all happening other works are trying to form a workers union and strike so they can earn higher wages and better living conditions. This adds some drama and conflict while also giving an insight into the workers lives.
Esperanza does not only learn how to be a great worker but also realizes she can be happy without having silk dresses or servants. She really progresses with having a better attitude in working hard and staying strong through trials. She is able to see other’s perspectives and can have empathy for them. Although at times I would become frustrated because she would act selfish or like a spoiled brat. It was hard to read through at times because I desired for her to reach the point that she grew up and realized she can’t have her old life back.
This books also touches on more important issues such as the Dust Bowl, Mexican Deportation Act, and the discrimination foreigners receive. It also shows the perspective of immigrant workers and how they struggle to even just put food on the table. I really enjoyed this book because Esperanza really does grow up and learn how to be responsible.
It also would be great to incorporate into a classroom. I would think either a first or second year of Spanish would be an appropriate level for this book. It would be an easy book to introduce some Spanish vocabulary and talk about the culture of Mexico. I would break this book up by chapters and have them students write down the Spanish words as they read the book and make any notes about the Mexican culture or immigration. I would also want to talk about the historical events that took place during the time this story is taking place. I could co-plan with the history teacher to see if while they learn about the Great Depression in history they could read a real example in my class.
Someone please call Salma Hayek and Julie Taymor to turn this fantasy-like historical fiction book into a movie! I can really see this book as a wonderful movie that is part. "Frida Kahlo" and part, "Grapes of Wrath."
As described by the Amazon Customer Reviewer with the most "Likes" -- this movie is about a young girl and her mother who went from the privileged upper class to farm migrant workers in the doubly-cursed Depression Era and Dustbowl Days of the late 1920's / early 1930's.
I can see Ramona and Esperanza and alongside Henry Fonda's character in Grapes of Wrath. Poor is poor. Courage is courage.
It is a great book that gives a good history lesson about that period of time in our history. It brings up the plight of the Okies from Oklahoma who fled the Dustbowl, the migrants who worked hard for pennies a day and didn't even want to lose those pennies in workers' strikes for better wages and living conditions. The book touches on racism, deportation, and the determination to survive.
It is a great book about pride and determination. It is a great book about love and hope.
I am an adult and I LOVED this book. I think it would make a great movie. Salma? Julie? Where are you?