“Esperanza Rising” by Pam Munoz Ryan was one of the books required for Greenville Middle School sixth-grade literature arts class. It seemed like a natural choice to read one of my son’s required texts.
Set during the Great Depression, Esperanza is the daughter of a wealthy Mexican ranch owner. Following the brutal murder of her father, Esperanza and her mother set off secretly to America with a family of their former servants but without their beloved Abuelita, Esperanza’s grandmother.
In America, Esperanza and her mother share a shack with their former servants and discover how difficult the transition is, especially for a daughter of privilege. Esperanza’s mother Ramona, comes down with illness following a devastating dust storm, leaving Esperanza having to learn how to work in the fields.
The book takes a look at the economic and political climate of The United States in the early 1930s through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl. It touches on the uprising of organized unions and the plight of field workers of all nationalities.
This was definitely a page turner and a quick read. Though the intended audience is the tween set, it’s subject matter and fluid language, make it interesting for a broader set. Munoz Ryan does a terrific job of referencing historical events and doing so in an interesting manner.Esperanza Rising (young adult book),