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Title: Esperanza Rising
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Premise: Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression. (King County Library System)
Opinions: Esperanza had a cushy life full of beauty, privledge and love. Yet when several unexpected events happen she ends up having to leave her beautiful and privledged life in Mexico behind for a chance to maintain the love in her life with her mother. So they go to California where Esperanza now has to work for the first time in her life. She learns menial tasks that were beneath her in Mexico. As Esperanza rises like a phoenix out of the ashes of her old life she becomes stronger and a better person.
I love this book. It is beautifully written. The prose is moving and the characters are very well developed. The symbolism throughout the book was moving and powerful. I love the way the story is divided into fruit and vegetable seasons instead of chapters. Not only do you have a beautifully organic feel to the book, you have a connection to the characters and the location. Added bonus you get a true feel for what it would have been like for the workers during the Great Depression.
This is a fabulous book and I hope you love it as much as I do each time I read it.