Book Review of Esperanza Rising
The Children’s Book Review
Written by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Ages 9+ | 262 Pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (2000) | ISBN-13: 9780439120425
What to Expect: Historical Fiction, Multi-Cultural, Refugees, The Great Depression, and Riches to Rags
The notion of hope is truly significant, and the Spanish language captures this essence with the beautiful word Esperanza. Pam Muñoz Ryan’s literary masterpiece, Esperanza Rising, reflects this very idea, as it recounts the journey of a young girl who has to bear hardships and tribulations. Ryan draws inspiration from her abuelita’s memories, and her novel is a heartwarming tale of tragedy, danger, and significant change.
From a luxurious Mexican ranch to a camp for Mexican farm laborers in California, Esperanza’s journey is quite remarkable—she goes from riches to rags and must adjust to her new life. Fancy dresses and servants are switched for hard work to make ends meet. Her experiences teach us valuable lessons about gratitude, kindness, and starting over. Through it all, she learns that true wealth lies not in material possessions but in the love and support of her family.
Esperanza is the epitome of a symbol of strength and inspiration, who, despite facing adverse circumstances, remains unbroken. Ryan’s expressive writing style showcases Esperanza’s transformation, which is not only empowering but also inspirational. A historical fiction set during the Great Depression, Esperanza’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
Esperanza Rising is a beautifully written and inspiring story, leaving readers with a sense of hope and reminding us that, no matter what hardships come our way, hope and perseverance can carry us through even the darkest of times.
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About the Author
Pam Muñoz Ryan is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, ECHO, a 2016 Newbery Honor Book, and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She has written over forty books for young people—picture books, early readers, and middle grade and young adult novels. She is the author recipient of the NEA’s Human and Civil Rights Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, the Willa Cather Award, the Pura Belpré medal, the PEN USA award, and many others.
Her novels include Esperanza Rising, Riding Freedom, Becoming Naomi León, Paint the Wind, The Dreamer, and Echo. She was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from San Diego State University, and lives in north San Diego County with her family.
What to Read Next if You Love Esperanza Rising
- A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai
- The Dreamer, by Pam Muñoz Ryan
- Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech