Customer Reviews for

Esperanza Rising

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

I read the book, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. It takes p

I read the book, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. It takes place in Aguascalientes, Mexico, 1924. This book starts off with six-year-old Esperanza and her Papa lying on the ground, pressing their ears to the earth. Papa said that if you lay still enough, you could f...
I read the book, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. It takes place in Aguascalientes, Mexico, 1924. This book starts off with six-year-old Esperanza and her Papa lying on the ground, pressing their ears to the earth. Papa said that if you lay still enough, you could feel its heart beating. He was right, Esperanza could her it.  All was well for Esperanza, she had a big house with servants for her every need, beautiful dresses and a family that loved her.  Things did not stay this way though. Six years later, two very large and sad tragedies occurred in a short period of time, which sent Esperanza and her mother to the United States in secrecy in search of work, something Esperanza had never done before. Esperanza found that instead of the fancy clothes she and her mother usually wore, she only had a few pieces of dirty clothing that had once belonged to someone else. Instead of a beautiful house, they shared a cabin without hot water with a family of five. They had each other and Esperanza learned that’s all she needed. In the winter months they put newspapers on the walls to keep the wind and winter cold out. Shortly after a big dust storm, Mama caught Valley Fever and became very sick. She has to be moved into a hospital and Esperanza became worried she will never see her again. She learns to work in the sheds with the older women to help pay for Mama’s medical bills.  Esperanza quickly discovers that Mexicans are discriminated against in the United States. The people they work for would gladly replace the Mexican workers with workers from Oklahoma, and they were willing to work for less money too. If she and the people around her lost their jobs, they wouldn’t have a place to live and no way to pay Mama’s medical bills. Soon a strike breaks out and the immigration program does not hesitate to remove any who are part of it and send them to Mexico, even if they have never been there before.  With so many obstacles to overcome Esperanza clings to the old life she had before leaving Mexico and thinks she is better than most of the people around her. I enjoyed the book, Esperanza Rising very much. It was a very interesting story and I learned a lot about Mexican discrimination. It taught me to be grateful for what I have around me because there are people who have less, but have greater minds like the people who worked in the Mexican labor camp. The mood changed a lot in the story and I enjoyed those ups and downs a lot, and I almost couldn’t put the book down. I would rate this book four stars out of five because I felt it was a little young for me, even though I still enjoyed it. I think it is a perfect book for girls ages nine to thirteen because Esperanza is twelve-years-old and has a young personality. I enjoyed reading Esperanza Rising and I hope people get as much out of it as I did. 

posted by Anonymous on December 11, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Shelby Cyr's Book Review The book Esperanza Rising is by Pam Mun

Shelby Cyr's Book Review
The book Esperanza Rising is by Pam Munoz Ryan. The book is about a girl named Esperanza who is a very wealthy girl who lives in Mexico until her father passes away on their ranch. This leads to her family moving to California where they can onl...
Shelby Cyr's Book Review
The book Esperanza Rising is by Pam Munoz Ryan. The book is about a girl named Esperanza who is a very wealthy girl who lives in Mexico until her father passes away on their ranch. This leads to her family moving to California where they can only get by working on a potato farm during the great depression. Their lives become very difficult and Esperanza's mother becomes very ill. During this time Esperanza feels the need to speak up for other immigrants who have come to work through the rough working conditions. The theme for this book is determination.
I liked this book because it made you feel as if you were making the change that Esperanza was working towards for the immigrants. I like that Esperanza was inspired to change the society, and the conditions immigrants have to deal with.
I learned throughout this book that even when times get rough you should still be inspired to make a change and better situations for people all around you. I learned that you need to have determination to make a positive difference.
I would recommend this book to girls of all ages because it has a very interesting and inspiring story line that open your eyes to different aspects of life. Esperanza Rising is a very well written book with a good story line.

posted by Anonymous on December 13, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    I read the book, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. It takes p

    I read the book, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. It takes place in Aguascalientes, Mexico, 1924. This book starts off with six-year-old Esperanza and her Papa lying on the ground, pressing their ears to the earth. Papa said that if you lay still enough, you could feel its heart beating. He was right, Esperanza could her it.  All was well for Esperanza, she had a big house with servants for her every need, beautiful dresses and a family that loved her.  Things did not stay this way though. Six years later, two very large and sad tragedies occurred in a short period of time, which sent Esperanza and her mother to the United States in secrecy in search of work, something Esperanza had never done before. Esperanza found that instead of the fancy clothes she and her mother usually wore, she only had a few pieces of dirty clothing that had once belonged to someone else. Instead of a beautiful house, they shared a cabin without hot water with a family of five. They had each other and Esperanza learned that’s all she needed. In the winter months they put newspapers on the walls to keep the wind and winter cold out. Shortly after a big dust storm, Mama caught Valley Fever and became very sick. She has to be moved into a hospital and Esperanza became worried she will never see her again. She learns to work in the sheds with the older women to help pay for Mama’s medical bills.  Esperanza quickly discovers that Mexicans are discriminated against in the United States. The people they work for would gladly replace the Mexican workers with workers from Oklahoma, and they were willing to work for less money too. If she and the people around her lost their jobs, they wouldn’t have a place to live and no way to pay Mama’s medical bills. Soon a strike breaks out and the immigration program does not hesitate to remove any who are part of it and send them to Mexico, even if they have never been there before.  With so many obstacles to overcome Esperanza clings to the old life she had before leaving Mexico and thinks she is better than most of the people around her. I enjoyed the book, Esperanza Rising very much. It was a very interesting story and I learned a lot about Mexican discrimination. It taught me to be grateful for what I have around me because there are people who have less, but have greater minds like the people who worked in the Mexican labor camp. The mood changed a lot in the story and I enjoyed those ups and downs a lot, and I almost couldn’t put the book down. I would rate this book four stars out of five because I felt it was a little young for me, even though I still enjoyed it. I think it is a perfect book for girls ages nine to thirteen because Esperanza is twelve-years-old and has a young personality. I enjoyed reading Esperanza Rising and I hope people get as much out of it as I did. 

    26 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book....History Teachers A Must Read

    Esperanza is young girl of wealth and privilege in Mexico, but after her father is murdered on their family ranch. Esperanza and her mother flee to California, there they must work on a potato farm during the great depression. Life is hard and Esperanza mother become ill and Esperanza must speak up for the immigrant workers and their work conditions.

    This book also contains a slight mix of Spanish words and/or phases that are also translated and easy to comprehend. History teacher could collaborate with English/Language Arts teachers when reading this book, because the setting is during the American Great Depression and the Dust Bowl Era.

    21 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    The book was pretty good

    This is a book that people interested in
    Historical fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    Wonderful

    I had to read the book for a college class and i cant wait to introduce it to my own students eventually

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Taisei The Home School Sixth Grader

    The book was great, but there was no ending. Almost every book has an ending but this one stinks. Also I didn't like how there was the strike in the story. It was just confusing. The rrst of the was great. All of your comments are great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    I really liked this book!!!!! I loved all the cliffhangers! It

    I really liked this book!!!!! I loved all the cliffhangers! It takes place on a farm in Mexico (in the beginning.) Then, she has many hardships and burdens and moves to California, U.S.A. I thought this was a very heartwarming story because Esperanza loves her papa so much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    Great book


    WHAT a book I red it in school and @ school

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    I read Esperanza Rising by the author Pam Muñoz Ryan published i

    I read Esperanza Rising by the author Pam Muñoz Ryan published in June of 2007 by Scholastic Inc. Esperanza Rising is about a girl named Esperanza whose father was killed. By losing her father Esperanza Also loses her beautiful house and spoiled lifestyle. Now Esperanza and her loved ones must move from Mexico to California. You might ask why must Esperanza and her loved ones move all the way to California because her father died. The reason is because Esperanza Uncle Tio Luis and Tio Marco are taking advantage of Esperanza’s father’s fatality. Uncle Tio Luis uses Esperanza’s mother as a next step in his plot towards wealth. He gives her two choices the first being Esperanza’s Mother will Marry Tio Luis in order to stay at their house or they will have to face his anger for being denied what he wants. So Esperanza’s mother made her decision and they stowed away and into the night headed for California. Their lives are about to change significantly Esperanza was use to a pampered life style now she is going to be an immigrant in a country she does not know well at all. Esperanza grows and learns through the novel this is truly powerful coming of age book. This book is very relatable to any teenage girl. It is very easy for a teenage girl to relate to Esperanza’s character this book really shows all the ups and downs and surprising turns life can take. I really felt for Esperanza through the tragedy’s she had to go through the most difficult being she had to not only had to fit into a new lifestyle after her father death but she also has to live in a world without her father “ Wondering how she would fit into this world without a dad. (page 102)” My reaction to Esperanza’s situation was that I felt very sorry for her and could feel her struggle come through the book. I would really recommend this book to any teenage girl. It is a great example on no matter what life throws at you that everything will turn out for the best if you just have hope. After all the name Esperanza does mean hope.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    She went from having dozens of servants to practically being one

    She went from having dozens of servants to practically being one. Esperanza Rising is about a young girl who was once the daughter of a wealthy land owner. Then, when tragedy strikes she has to move to America as a worker. There, workers on strike almost cause Esperanza to lose her job. Esperanza Rising was written by Pam Munoz Ryan, and takes place during the time of the great depression. The book had its sad parts, but a lot of events that happen are super exciting. I would suggest this book to people who like drama in their novels. It was a very good book.
    Zalan S.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Like it

    Omg i <3 this book!! This book is about a 13 year old girl named Esperanza. The worst part was when Esperanzas coison was caught in fire. :"-( haters shut up GEzt THIS BOOK!!! Although i would change is the brat esperanza. This book could go either way. Hate. Or love. Although it was dumb that in the book Esperanza did not even no how to sweep!!?? This is an4 star book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Esperanza Rising Amazing Book

    I lov this book, the courage of this girl is amazing. She is very brave, I reccomend this book to anyone who likes books with true meaning in the book. It is about a hispanic girl, whos father dies, and she is very sad but she rises from her sadness while going through issues with their house. Esperanza has to move away to America I'm not going to tell you why. She has to stay with her servants brother, where she meets Isabel, Lupe and Pepe. At this new place her mother gets sick from a terrible natural diasaster, and has to stay at a hostpital. It has a wonderful ending and is one of my most favorite books ever. So READ IT, it is one good book!

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  • Posted October 1, 2012

    Great read.

    Esperanza rising was a great piece of literature. Although probably written for youth-teenagers, there are many important themes that adults could also relate to. There is also a lot of historical truth in this great read, and I highly recommend it. It was a fast and easy read, and I enjoyed it.

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  • Posted May 4, 2012

    fun book. i read this in 4th grade,which was last year.

    fun book. i read this in 4th grade,which was last year.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from Missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

    Esperanza had a wonderful life in Mexico in 1930. She lived with her mother and father, Ramona and Sixto Ortega at a beautiful ranch where her grandmother taught Esperanza to crochet. El Rancho de las Rosas is a little piece of paradise. Beloved servants tend to Esperanza's every need while field hands tend to the family's vineyard. Everything in Esperanza's life is perfect right down to the preparations for her fourteenth birthday.

    That is, until the day Esperanza's father does not come home from tending to the ranch. Suddenly Esperanza's life is turned upside. Her father is gone. El Rancho de las Rosas is slipping away. Esperanza and her mother are fleeing to California with nothing to find work as field workers. Worse, they have to leave Abuelita behind.

    Suddenly thrust into poverty, Esperanza feels lost. She and her mother are suddenly equal to the servants who helped them escape Mexico. Prejudice and inequality leap at Esperanza from everywhere. Nothing will ever be the same and the more Esperanza sees of America, the land of opportunity, the more she feels like she's sinking. Will Esperanza be able to rise about her circumstances and embrace her new life before it's too late in Esperanza Rising (2000) by Pam Muñoz Ryan?

    Esperanza Rising is a Pura Belpre Winner (Pura Belpre being an award that highlights distinguished work in literature and illustration by hispanic or latino authors--I'm not sure which is stated specifically in the award criteria). It's really popular and generally well-received. And it even has a play adaptation (apparently not playing anywhere right now, but you can see hints of it in an online search).

    All the same, I was initially extremely resistant to this book. I did not want to like it. The story starts depressing and, frankly, Esperanza starts off irritating. Having finished the book, I greatly regret that resistance.

    One of the coolest things about this book is that it's based on the true story of the author's grandmother's immigration to the United States. Like most of the books I've listed as possible pairings, it is a quintessential immigrant story. Esperanza has a lot of growing up to when she is forced to move to California. She faces a lot of hardships and learns a lot about herself and her inner strength.

    At its core Esperanza is, unsurprisingly, a story about hope and perseverance (esperanza means "hope" in Spanish). It is also a great introduction to the immigrant experience. While Esperanza remains at the center of the story, Ryan also touches upon the Depression, the Dust Bowl, social reform, and discrimination in this rich story.

    This story also shines a light on the not-always-well-known world of migrant farm workers in a respectful and informative way. That is not to say that the story itself is not interesting. Far from it. Esperanza Rising is a wonderful blend of everything good about contemporary and historical fiction; Ryan skillfully presents the time period while making Esperanza and her world approachable to modern readers of all ages.

    Possible Pairings: Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch, Drown by Junot Diaz, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, From Ellis Island to JFK by Nancy Foner, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, Imagining America: Stories from the Promised Land by Amy Ling, ...y no se lo tragó la tierra / ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomas Rivera and Evangelina Vigil-Pinon (translator), Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Bread Giver

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    A cleverly written book.

    Great book. My daughter loved how the title of each chapter wove its way into the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Interesting read

    Good middle school book. Great way to learn Spanish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    My Thoughts on Esperanza Rising

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an immigrant from Mexico? What if you had once been rich, with a loving family, and no worries, and in the blink of an eye everything is stripped away from you? In the book Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, Esperanza is forced into this scenario. After her father is killed suddenly, their house burns to the ground, and her mother is being forced into a marriage with Esperanza's uncle, Esperanza along with her mother and their servants Hortesania, Alfonso, and Miguel, plan to immigrate to America in hopes of a better life then they had in Mexico. Esperanza is forced into many hardships, including learning to work in the sheds with the other women when her mother is struck down with Valley Fever. She learns that there is more to life then money and riches. Through it all she learns to be happy for what she has been given, and to listen to her father's wise words "Wait awhile and the fruit will fall into your hand."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    great book wish there was a series

    great book easy to read finished in 2 days!

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

    Well Worth Reading

    Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan is an intriguing read, and shows that no matter what, love is all you need to fufill your life. This story is based on a young girl named Esperanza Ortega, and her life as she travels from living the life in Aquascalientes, Mexico to surviving on nothing but love and hope in California. The year is around 1930 during the Great Depression. Esperanza however, is one of the few rich people left, living on her acres of land and vineyard with her mom, dad, Abuelita and her helpers Hortensia, Alfonso and her best friend Miguel. She gets whatever she wants and always has. Esperanza is a kind and sweet 13 year old girl who's happy with her life just the way it is. However, one day when tragedy strikes her family and home, she's forced to leave everything behind including her belongings, family and friends. Esperanza is forced to work with a small salary, be without her luxuries, and deal with the loss of her old life, all while adjusting to her new surroundings. In the end however, with newfound family, friends and hope, Esperanza overcomes her troubles and learns that love conquers all. She also learns the difference between "wants" and "needs", and becomes a person with new eyes by the end of the book. I liked this book because it's an easy read for all ages, and teaches valuable life lessons in an action packed novel. Another thing I enjoyed about Esperanza Rising was that the author made family the biggest subject in the book and really got the message across through the plot development. By reading Esperanza Rising, I learned that we should all be grateful for what we have been given and not to take advantage of it because it could be gone in no time. "'Aguantante tantito y la fruta caera en tu mano,' he said. 'Wait a little while and the fruit will fall into your hand. You must be patient Esperanza'". And even though bad things happen sometimes, you have to always have "esperanza"... hope. I would definitely recommend this book for kids of all ages who are looking for a good and emotional read.

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  • Posted September 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Riches to rags to riches

    This semi-biographical book is worthy of its Newbery honor. I highly recommend this novel to both children and adults alike. It is an adept tale with a historical underlying. Esperanza is an almost perfect representation of how many of us take what we have for granted, and how misplaced we would feel if we lost it all. Many of us have a tendency to misconstrue our beliefs of people and do not realize how things may have come to be. Esperanza Rising shows its readers one of the many examples of a family coming into ruins, struggling to hold onto what it once was, and learning to live in an unknown world. This is a very touching tale that teaches us all a little about humility and humanity. --FTD

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