Book Review: Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan

_206890SchEsperanza_0.tifEsperanza Rising is a great novel about a young Mexican girl’s adventure of riches to rags– quite the opposite of most stories.

Esperanza lives on a big ranch called El Rancho de Las Rosas. There she has servants, huge acres of land, her best friends and a mother, father and grandmother who love her dearly. Esperanza lives the life of a princess, she has everything. That all changes on the day that Esperanza pricked her finger on a rose thorn, bad luck was coming. And she was right.

Esperanza’s father promises to meet her in the garden that day, but he never arrives, having been killed by bandits still bent on the Mexican Revolution. From that point on, Esperanza suffers through her uncles taking advantage of her father’s recent death and proposing to Mama, the burning of El Rancho de Las Rosas, the separation from Abuelita (grandmother), the step by step process to becoming poor and the escape from the only home she had ever known. Moving to California to work (although work was never in Esperanza’s vocabulary) is a big step for Esperanza.

A revolution boiling in the background of this new life and Mama’s sudden illness all come as a surprise to Esperanza. Will she be able to save Mama’s life and her own? Is the strength of love and perseverance truly the strongest medicine of all? Esperanza learns to “never be afraid to start over” because our lives are lives of “mountains and valleys.” After all, “he who falls today may rise tomorrow.”

-Danielle T., 7th grade

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan

  1. I read this story for school in 6th grade and it is just amazing. Mrs.Ryan does a very good job of making us feel like we are alongside them the whole time. Nice review!

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