Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

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Mexican and Mexican-American history, culture, and traditions, the novel is an ideal read for any young adult.
-El Iluminador


Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.

About Pam Munoz Ryan

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Author Pam Muñoz Ryan was born in Bakersfield, California on December 25, 1951. She received a B. A. in child development and a M. A. in education from San Diego State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a bilingual Head Start teacher and as an early childhood program administrator. At first, she wrote adult books about child development, but soon switched to writing children's books. She has written over twenty-five picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for young readers. The novel Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Peace Award, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and the Americas Award Honor Book, is based on her own grandmother's immigration from Mexico to California. Riding Freedom has also won many awards including the national Willa Cather Award and the California Young Reader Medal. When Marian Sang, a picture book about singer Marian Anderson, won numerous awards including the ALA Sibert Honor and NCTE's Orbis Pictus Award. She currently lives in Leucadia, California.
Published October 1, 2012 by Scholastic Inc.. 275 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Esperanza Rising
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1


Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Oct 01 2008

A deep-rooted part of the history of California, the Depression, and thus the nation—is little heard in children’s fiction. It bears telling to a wider audience.

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Publishers Weekly

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Sep 11 2008

Ryan delivers subtle metaphors via Abuelita's pearl's of wisdom, and not until story's end will readers recognize how carefully they have been strung

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Booklist Online

Reviewed by Gillian Engberg on Dec 01 2008

Ryan writes movingly in clear, poetic language that children will sink into, and the books offers excellent opportunities for discussion and curriculum support.

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Common Sense Media

Reviewed by Kate Pavao on Jan 01 2008

Historical fiction at its best in book on '30s farmworkers . . . This is a beautiful book that remains educational and inspirational more than a decade after its publication.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Daisy on Mar 15 2014

I guess you could say that the theme of “Esperanza Rising” is “rising” above all of life's challenges. Throughout the book, Esperanza has many challenges thrown her way. Through it all, Esperanza is slowly overcoming each one.

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Teen Ink

Reviewed by Teen Ink on Jan 01 2008

I hope they make more and more and more books like these, because they are absolutely amazing!

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Yahoo! Voices

Reviewed by Liz Copeland on Oct 13 2008

I'm glad to see juvenile fiction is still able to challenge and enlighten readers of what I believed to be a literary bracket best forgotten.

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El Iluminador

Reviewed by Joaquin on Aug 18 2012

Mexican and Mexican-American history, culture, and traditions, the novel is an ideal read for any young adult.

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