Teen Book Review — Esperanza Rising


Title: Esperanza Rising
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Stars (out of 5): 4
Review: Esperanza Rising is an intriguing historical fiction novel about a rich family living in a Mexican ranch ten years after the Mexican revolution. It starts by giving you a picture of six-year-old Esperanza’s life as a wealthy rancher’s daughter. It then skips forward 6 years to the grape harvest a few weeks before Esperanza’s birthday. Just before her birthday, and continuing on for a while after, a series of tragedies force Esperanza and her mother to immigrate to California as migrant workers, with their former servants. All of her family’s wealth was gone, and Esperanza was called upon to take care of the babies in the former servants’ family. Esperanza was used to being waited on, and didn’t know how take care of herself, let alone the babies. She had to step up and learn to make the best of her new life. I really enjoyed this book, and I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. I liked it because Esperanza’s life kept on changing, and it was interesting to see how she reacted to it. It was great when she finally figured something out, or when her hard work paid off. I might have liked a bit better if it was happier, though. This book doesn’t really connect to my life because Esperanza had to go through terrible things, while I have a happy life. However, it is slightly similar to Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson. In Lyddie, Lyddie needs to work very hard to support her family, as Esperanza does in this book. Also, in both books strikers strike for better working conditions, and neither joined them for fear of losing their jobs. Esperanza Rising is a really good book about accepting change and making the best of every circumstance. If you like historical fiction and don’t mind sad books, you should definitely read it.

This review was written by a 7th grader.

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