Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza smiled. When the grapes delivered their harvest, she always turned another year. This year, she would be thirteen. The picking would take three weeks and then, like every other year, Mama and Papa would host a fiesta for the harvest. And for her birthday.
Esperanza Rising is on Time’s 100 Best YA List and has also been recommended to me since I was in middle school by teachers and friends. SO I finally read it….I didn’t like it.
I read about different cultures and seek out books featuring diversity and such. This book wasn’t for me. I know there are readers out have been moved by Esperanza Rising, I wasn’t.
Esperanza’s foundation is destroyed when her father dies suddenly. Esperanza and her mother flee and seek work during the great depression in California. They face struggles Esperanza has never encountered before: poverty, physically demanding labor, racism, and deportations. All of these new factors in Esperanza’s life mold her into a better and stronger person.
If you are looking for an easy that opens the door to those topics Esperanza Rising is a great book to read. I recommend this book for late elementary to early middle school readers, I do not believe many older readers will enjoy the story.
Why didn’t I like Esperanza Rising?
The story felt fairy-tale like. I wasn’t looking for that in Esperanza Rising–since it is based on the author’s own family history. Esperanza Rising is a middle-grade read, because of this, I felt myself wanting more from the book than it had to give. Perfect for younger readers, older readers may feel indifferent about the events. If you want to add a text to your younger reader’s library or want an easy read about difficult topics, look no further than Esperanza Rising.
Have you read Esperanza Rising? What did you think? Do you want to read Esperanza Rising?
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