People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
-- Logan Pearsall Smith (1865 - 1946), Afterthoughts (1931) "Myself"

Elementary readersUpper elementary readersMiddle school readers
8 stars

Esperanza Rising

AR: 5.3
Lexile: 750
RC: 5.5
by Pam Muñoz Ryan     Illus. by Joe Cepeda (cover)
Normal-length Novel
Genre: Realistic Historical Fiction

Original post — Tuesday, August 23, 2005
ALA Best Books for Young Adults

Esperanza lived the life of a princess on her father's ranch in Aguascalientes, Mexico. When tragedy strikes, she is forced to leave with her mother and a family that works on their rancho to the United States. She finds herself in a camp for Mexican farm workers, where she is no longer a princess but simply one more of the many "peasants" living there. As if things couldn't get worse, her mother has gotten sick and is in the hospital, so now Esperanza is forced to work, too. Will she be able to work enough to pay for mother's hospital stay and save enough to send for her grandmother who had to stay back in Mexico?

I really enjoyed the style in which this book was written. It was very easy and pleasant to read. The story was pretty easy to follow, however, I prefer stories that have a little more drama and unpredictability. I could tell what the ending was going to be pretty much from the start. There was a lot of symbolism and foreshadowing. To me, it gave away the ending. It is interesting to note that this story was based on a real person (the author's grandmother). For another version of immigration from Mexico, try Lupita Mañana (which I liked better).

(Last modified:08/24/2007)


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