My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan was a surprisingly good novel set in Post Revolutionary Mexico and Great Depression Era California. Esperanza is a young girl who was born into a wealthy family and has never known poverty. That is, until her father is killed by bandits, and her uncles take over the land. Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their home to avoid a forced remarriage of Esperanza’s mother. The two, along with three loyal servants steal away in a mango cart toward California and the promise of freedom.
In California, Esperanza learns what it is like to be poor and an immigrant. She learns to work hard, to make do, and to think about someone other than herself. Like the mythical Phoenix she rises from the ashes to remake herself. This was an excellent book and one I want to share with my students.