Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Can Esperanza Rise Above it All?

Esperanza is a young, wealthy girl who has the finest things and a happy life in Mexico. When tragedy strikes unexpectedly, she and her mother are forced to leave their home. They travel to the United States to look for jobs. It is the Great Depression, but they are lucky enough to find work as migrant field workers. This is a life that Esperanza was not prepared for, and the hard labor is more challenging than she had expected. She feels tired all the time and is having trouble being accepted by the other workers in the camp. There is so much to learn, and she can barely remember the life she used to have. Plus, she misses her abuela (grandmother) desperately. Will Esperanza be able to overcome the obstacles and struggles in her path? Will she ever see her abuela again? Is it possible for life to get better? This story will fill you with hope and make you see that hard times can transform us.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan is a story that has lingered with me long after I turned the last page. Each chapter of the story features a food that is harvested either in Mexico or California and it was fascinating to learn more about them. We read this book in school, and we celebrated Esperanza’s story by hosting a Fruitful Harvest for parents and students when we got to the end of the book. Each student brought in a Mexican “dish,” or a dish prepared with one of the foods from the story. The ingredients in the story are: grapes, papayas, figs, guavas, cantaloupes, onions, almonds, plums, potatoes, avocados, asparagus, and peaches. This was tasty and fun! I really enjoyed the characters and it was wonderful to see them evolve and change as the story progressed. I learned a lot about the time period and I also discovered what we can do with the unexpected ingredients in our lives. Sometimes you have to make what you are given into something brand new! I recommend this book to anyone in fourth through eighth grade, though adults will certainly love it, too!

Has anyone else read Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan? Or have you read another book by this author? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Reading! ~L


18 comments:

  1. I read this a while ago. I don't remember too much because it's been years, but I do remember reading it in one sitting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly- How great that you read this one! Reading it in one sitting is a good sign. ;) ~L

      Delete
  2. I haven't read this one, but I'll definitely have to pick it up. Growing up in California in a agricultural area most of my friends were children of former migrant workers, or still worked in the fields. Of course, it'll probably end up making me miss some good Mexican food! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meradeth- How interesting that you grew up in an agricultural area and many of your friends were children of former or current migrant workers. I think you will love Esperanza's story. :) You will definitely miss good Mexican food! ~L

      Delete
  3. I am going to pin this on my kid/ Pinterest books so I will remember it. I love the topic and I think it is important for kids to understand this era and learn about the hardship of the migrant workers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heidi- This is a perfect book to pin! This book is about an era that is very important to learn about. Enjoy! ~L

      Delete
  4. Such a glowing review. Sounds like a great read and what a terrific cover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Petty- I love the cover, too! It is a fabulous book and readers can really connect to Esperanza. :) ~L

      Delete
  5. Sounds like a wonderful book for the young to learn how others dealt with difficult times, how difficulty can "transform" one...and the time period adds a bit of history also. Great Review of what reads like a very interesting book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anna Maria- It is a wonderful book. It really helps the reader see that difficult times can make us change for the better. Thanks for stopping by! ~L

      Delete
  6. I haven't read this yet, but it's been on my TBR list for quite some time. I've read several positive reviews for it, and it sounds fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dena- I hope you get to read this one soon! It is such a wonderful book! ~L

      Delete
  7. No I haven't but I want to now! My student would love to read this, too. Petty is right, that is a glowing cover. Thanks for reviewing this book and sharing with us, L. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Claudine- Every time I look at the cover it makes me feel like I can lift up into the air. I hope you and your students get to read it and like it as much as I do! :) ~L

      Delete
  8. I loved this book. But quite sad too. Evil uncles! >:o
    Erik

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erik- You are right! Her uncles are evil and the book is sad. I love to see the ways that Esperanza changes. :) ~L

      Delete
  9. I have also read this book! We actually own two copies - one is mine and the other is my sisters (that one was free). I think it is a beautiful story and it managed to show Mexico incredibly well and made me realize the differences between rich and poor. When I started learning Spanish I learned that Esperanza translates to mean Hope. Hope Rising is such a beautiful title <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olivia- Savannah- I agree with you that it is a beautiful story. It made me realize a lot of things when I was reading it and it was such a touching story! Hope Rising is a fabulous title and so appropriate for the book. :) Thanks for your thoughtful comment! ~L

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. We love to hear your thoughts! Fairday's Blog is no longer accepting awards. We appreciate all the nominations that we have received and are honored to have been mentioned! Happy Reading!

Twitter Bird Gadget Twitter Bird Gadget