But a sudden tragedy shatters that dream, forcing Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. There they confront the challenges of hard work, acceptance by their own people, and economic difficulties brought on by the Great Depression. When Mama falls ill from Valley Fever and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must relinquish her hold on the past and learn to embrace a future ripe with the riches of family and community.
Pam Munoz Ryan eloquently portrays the Mexican workers' plight in this abundant and passionate novel that gives voice to those who have historically been denied one.
©2000 Pam Munoz Ryan; (P)2001 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group
"Rich in history and culture, this novel is all the more successful in the audio format." (AudioFile)
"Ryan writes movingly in clear, poetic language that children will sink into."(Booklist)
Even though I found this from my son's school book order form, I loved this story! I can't wait to share it with more children, especially family members who should hear about the history of our Central Valley in CA and how our grandparents lived as farm workers in order to make our lives easier. It was like hearing a story from my own Grammy. Please, Ms. Munoz, write more!
Bibliophile, English Teacher, Wordsmith
Esperanza's privileged childhood in no way prepares her for the brutal reality of the migrant farm worker she abruptly becomes. The unforgettable events that propel Esperanza out of her life of ease and thrust her onto the lowest rung of Depression-era California agricultural work are swift, tragic, and irreversible.
Esperanza's initial attempts to adjust to her new life are inept and unsuccessful, complicated by her anger and arrogance, as she yearns for all she has lost. Slowly, she redefines herself, as she begins to recognize her enduring beliefs and values in unexpected forms in her new circumstances. Her courage and resilience fortify her, and love ultimately lifts her above the perplexing conditions and painful tragedies she must overcome. The fact that "Esperanza" is based on a true story adds considerable emotional depth to this intriguing slice of historical fiction.
The story is enhanced by the truly masterful narration of Trini Alvarado. Ms. Alvarado does not read this book, she performs it, revealing the cultural nuances and inhabiting each character in turn, most especially Esperanza.
This book was amazing. Not only does it poignantly tell the story of a rich, spoiled girl losing everything and having to come to terms with a new life in a strange land, but you get such an eye-opening look at the lives of the people who came to work in the fields of Southern California and the surrounding areas during the early 1900s (dust bowl and Depression years). The characters are realistically portrayed and the time period is brought to life in this story. I was touched by this tale--Esperanza is an inspiration that we can all "rise above" whatever life brings us.
I loved this book. I only read it because it was assigned for my Children Lit class, but I'd read it again just for fun. Amazing story and the way it was read made the story easy to keep up with and nice to lay in bed and listen to. it's nice to hear the correct pronunciation of these Spanish words.
Good story and sends the right message.
Exciting and entertaining.
This is a great book for young girls.
This book was very true to real life, very real. I loved how it showed the young girl's feelings and emotions completely. The story itself was interesting, and it gave the reader an opportunity to experience life during the 1930's for a specific group of people in very hard times. I loved getting to learn more about the Depression era from the point of view of an immigrant. The fact that they came from wealth and were taken to poverty just adds so much more to the story line. It happened to many people. You can really feel the ups and downs of the characters as they go through their trials, because the author's writing abilities are fantastic. I think this is a great listen for young people studying this time period, or for adults just wanting a good book to listen to. I enjoyed the narrator, she did an excellent job.
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