Book Reviews, Uncategorized, Words on Wednesdays

Book Review: Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising is the story of Esperanza Ortega, a girl living with her family on a plantation in Mexico. She loves her family and her life and has dreams for the future. When tragedy strikes, Esperanza and her mother flee to California and a camp for farm workers. The hard work and little money are hard for Esperanza to get used to. When her mother gets sick, Esperanza faces one of the most difficult times of her life.

Esperanza and her family go through many changes. Her abuelita says it best when she calls them mountains and valleys. Abuelita is crocheting a blanket, and when Esperanza and her mother leave Mexico she sends it with Esperanza. Abuelita tells her to keep working on the blanket while they are apart. Esperanza will go through many mountains and valleys until they are together again. I thought that was a good analogy of life and that it fits the story very well. When she misses Abuelita, Esperanza works on the blanket. She does indeed experience mountains and valleys, but they help her change into the caring, giving person she becomes.

The author mentioned at the beginning that Abuelita was working on a blanket, but I didn’t think it would become important. I thought that the fact that it did become important and that Esperanza works on a project started by her abuelita was very sweet.

A note I made while reading was that Esperanza starts out as a queen (taking), with servants, fancy clothes, and everything she wants. In California, she doesn’t have that and becomes more of a servant (giving), helping the family by working, caring for the babies, and cooking. She learns a lot along the way and I think that’s what started to prepare her for taking care of her mother.

Esperanza Rising received seven literary awards! I believe it deserved every single one, as it’s a sweet story of family and friendship, change and growth.


6 thoughts on “Book Review: Esperanza Rising”

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