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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.
Top customer reviews
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?
Now, Esperanza, her mother Ramona, and Abuelita had a dilemma and a tough decision to make. Since her father – the head of the household – was no longer living and able to take care of them, Esperanza’s mother could not take his place, so they only had two options; Ramona could choose to stay and marry her husband’s evil, money-hungry brother, or they could take a risk, and go with Hortensia, Alfonso, and their son Miguel to America, the land of opportunity. In hopes to give themselves a better life than what they would have if they stayed in Mexico, Esperanza and her mother make the long and dangerous journey to America with their friends, leaving behind Abuelita because she was too weak. They promised each other that they would be reunited again soon.
Coming to America is a major change from what Esperanza and her mother are used to, and it proves to be especially hard on Esperanza. Now she is an equal to the servants she once had, working long hours with little pay. When her mother suddenly becomes ill with a life-threatening disease, Esperanza shows everyone the woman she is becoming, working hard despite her frustrations and challenges. She holds onto hope (the meaning of her name), saving up enough money to bring Abuelita home and to pay her mother’s steadily rising medical bills. With the story being set in the Depression era, this is not an easy task, especially for someone of Esperanza’s age. “He who falls today may rise tomorrow” is a Mexican proverb quoted at the beginning of the book, and its meaning rings true to the story of Esperanza. Esperanza Rising is the coming-of-age story of a girl who loses practically everything and everyone she loves, and just when she reaches her lowest point, she finds a way to rise again, overcome her obstacles, and find joy and happiness in her new home with the people she cares most about.
Pam Muñoz Ryan writes the story from the perspective of Esperanza, and the book has a wise and poetic but still light style to it, almost as though the reader is right there maturing alongside Esperanza; Ryan’s writing draws the reader in well. The book also offers an insightful look inside the Hispanic culture, with references and translations throughout the book. In the “About the Author” section at the end of the book, Pam Muñoz Ryan states that her grandmother especially influenced her writing, and that Esperanza Rising is based on her immigration story.
A Pura Belpré Award Winner, Esperanza Rising is a well-written story of kindness and determination that can be enjoyed by an audience of all ages. From the time it starts, it is hard to put down and you will never want it to end – a definite page-turner! I would highly recommend this book to anyone for pleasure or as an educational tool, as it offers a wonderful and thoughtful look inside a different culture and time period.