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Author: Ryan, Pam Munoz
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth in Mexico to work in the labor camps of California.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 44286
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 21997
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 3 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 3.RF Fluency
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 7 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Kirkus Reviews (10/01)
School Library Journal (+) (10/00)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (12/00)
The Hornbook (01/01)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2000 Gr 6-9-Ryan uses the experiences of her own Mexican grandmother as the basis for this compelling story of immigration and assimilation, not only to a new country but also into a different social class. Esperanza's expectation that her 13th birthday will be celebrated with all the material pleasures and folk elements of her previous years is shattered when her father is murdered by bandits. His powerful stepbrothers then hold her mother as a social and economic hostage, wanting to force her remarriage to one of them, and go so far as to burn down the family home. Esperanza's mother then decides to join the cook and gardener and their son as they move to the United States and work in California's agricultural industry. They embark on a new way of life, away from the uncles, and Esperanza unwillingly enters a world where she is no longer a princess but a worker. Set against the multiethnic, labor-organizing era of the Depression, the story of Esperanza remaking herself is satisfyingly complete, including dire illness and a difficult romance. Except for the evil uncles, all of the characters are rounded, their motives genuine, with class issues honestly portrayed. Easy to booktalk, useful in classroom discussions, and accessible as pleasure reading, this well-written novel belongs in all collections.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information. - Copyright 2000 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2000 Esperanza’s life as the cherished only daughter of a rich Mexican rancher changes abruptly when her father is killed and her land-hungry uncles begin to pressure her widowed mother. They flee to the U.S., accompanied by their loyal housekeeper, Hortensia, and her son, Miguel. California in 1930 has little to offer penniless Mexican immigrants but hard agricultural labor, and the four settle in a work camp. Esperanza’s pragmatic mother turns to field work while Esperanza struggles with an unpleasant learning curve, realizing that she at thirteen lacks the most basic practical skills that her eight-year-old campmate Isabel takes for granted. Things get worse: strikes loom, pressing the workers to take sides; Esperanza’s mother falls ill, forcing Esperanza to become la patrona of the family; and Esperanza’s dear friend Miguel disappears with the money she’s saved. Based on Ryan’s grandmother’s experiences, this is an unusual story that steers clear of some romantic pitfalls. Though the piquant riches-to-rags element will draw readers, there’s no authorial condescension towards Esperanza’s campesino fellow workers, and Esperanza’s gradual shedding of her own prejudices towards them is perceptively delineated. The discussion of the strike isn’t one-sided, though the book does support Esperanza’s decision to keep working, and there’s some edifying information about the heterogeneousness of the Latino population in the workforce and their forced repatriation and even migration (some U.S. citizens were sent to Mexico as well). Wide-eyed but thoughtful Esperanza makes an attractive agent for these discussions, and her inevitable pairing with Miguel (who took her saved money in order to bring her beloved grandmother from Mexico to join the family) provides both a touch of romance and an illustration of what Esperanza has gained by coming north. - Copyright 2000 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 12/01/2000 Moving from a Mexican ranch to the company labor camps of California, Ryan's lyrical novel manages the contradictory: a story of migration and movement deeply rooted in the earth. When 14-year-old Esperanza's father is killed, she and her mother must emigrate to the U.S., where a family of former ranch workers has helped them find jobs in the agricultural labor camps. Coming from such privilege, Esperanza is ill prepared for the hard work and difficult conditions she now faces. She quickly learns household chores, though, and when her mother falls ill, she works packing produce until she makes enough money to bring her beloved abuelita to the U.S.. Set during the Great Depression, the story weaves cultural, economic, and political unrest into Esperanza's poignant tale of growing up: she witnesses strikes, government sweeps, and deep injustice while finding strength and love in her family and romance with a childhood friend. The symbolism is heavy-handed, as when Esperanza ominously pricks her finger on a rose thorne just before her father is killed. But Ryan writes movingly in clear, poetic language that children will sink into, and the books offers excellent opportunities for discussion and curriculum support. - Copyright 2000 Booklist.