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Parents' Guide to

Esperanza Rising

By Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Historical fiction at its best in story of '30s farmworkers.

Esperanza Rising Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 18 parent reviews

age 12+

terrible story

the character never get a real personality and the story always feels like it just started even by the end
age 9+

She went from riches to rags...

Esperanza rising, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan (published in 2000), is about a rich 13yr old girl living in Aguas Calientes, Mexico in 1930. Esperanza loves her life on El Rancho de las Rosas, with her mama and papa and abuelita along with two hundred servants and farm hands. But when a terrible tragedy occurs Esperanza and mama are forced to move to a factory farm in california. Something that I really liked about this book is that it is a page turner. I also feel like that it is very relatable and also understandable. Something that I wish was a little different is that the story didn’t progress as far as I would have liked it, the actual amount of time seemed right but what happened in that time was not as much as I would like it to.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (18 ):
Kids say (39 ):

This is a beautiful book that remains educational and inspirational more than a decade after its publication. Readers will sympathize with Esperanza, who must learn to work hard after living a life of luxury -- but more than that, they will be amazed by the strength she shows as she adjusts to the difficult life of a migrant farmworker. Eventualy, she begins to create her own dream for her life in California. Her story, told with Spanish expertly woven in with the English, may inspire readers to learn about their own family's immigration to America, the plight of farmworkers in the 1930s -- as well as the struggles of farm families living in America today.

Book Details

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