Esperanza Rising

By Pam Muñoz Ryan,

Book cover of Esperanza Rising

Book description

Esperanza Rising joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!

Esperanza thought she'd always live a privileged life on her family's ranch in Mexico. She'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked Esperanza Rising as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is a great book about a young girl named Esperanza living a good life on a ranch in Mexico when she and her mother are forced to leave the country after family tragedy strikes. They go to the US during the Great Depression and have serious financial problems that they never had to deal with before. When she lived in Mexico, they had servants to do everything for them, so living in poverty in the US is a major adjustment. She doesn’t even know how to use a broom! This kind of detail makes for an interesting saga…

Esperanza Rising is a story that takes place after the Mexican Revolution. Esperanza and her mother must flee Mexico, and they go to California. Esperanza and her mother were wealthy in Mexico, so they are not used to the hard work they must now do. She and her mother struggle as farmworkers in California. I recommend it as a great middle-grade read that gives readers an understanding of the difficulties many migrant families faced.

From Marcia's list on YA about immigration.

Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising is a classic for a reason. Written in a simple but poetic voice, this compelling story grabbed me from the start. Esperanza lives a pampered life on her family’s ranch in Mexico—until the unthinkable happens. She is forced to flee with her mother to a camp in California, where the Great Depression has dried up all prospects. Weighed by grief and faced with her harsh new life, Esperanza can sink under the pressure and be broken—or she can rise. Absolutely beautiful, full of depth and hope.

When my uncle was dying, he asked me for…

From Alyssa's list on refugees.

I love this book because it is historical fiction about a time and place I didn’t know anything about. Esperanza grew up in a rich family in Mexico, but disaster leads her and her mother to flee to a farm labor camp in California. Esperanza is another resilient girl, overcoming obstacles and growing from hardship. She learns to take a stand against injustice.

From Jacci's list on chosen families.

Richly detailed, inspirational, but not at all saccharine. This story of a young girl in a farm labor camp during the Great Depression has all the elements of a reverse fairytale. Esperanza enjoys the privileges of a Mexican “princess” until her wealthy family is forced into the drudgery of migrant work in California. A labor strike adds drama and punch. This book is at the young edge of Young Adult, showing the tremendous range of this genre—which, really, can and should be read by everyone.

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