Esperanza Rising
Esperanza Rising
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Pam Muñoz Ryan
ISBN 9780439120425
Scholastic, 2000.
5 stars
Keywords: 1930s california esperanza-rising family loss mexico pam-ryan

Esperanza Rising
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza Ortega loves her family’s El Rancho de las Rosas in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She especially loves harvest time, when everyone gathers to cut the heavy grapes off of the vines, culminating in her birthday celebration. But this year, as she turns 13, the unthinkable happens: Her father is murdered, and Esperanza and her mother must flee to California, leaving their home and wealth behind. The Ortegas find refuge with a family who once worked on their ranch, and who help them find work on a farm in the San Joaquin valley. It’s 1930, and Americans face great hardship, so although Esperanza must grow accustomed to the rigorous hard work day in and day out, she and her mother are grateful to be able to support themselves. Pam Muñoz Ryan based this riveting novel on her grandmother’s own story, and her touches of magic realism help to leaven the grim realities of Esperanza’s situation. After all, the heroine’s name translates as “hope.”
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