Esperanza Rising: Book Review

October 11th, 2015 by

esperanza-risingIn only a few days, Hispanic Heritage Month will come to an end. (Why is it 9/15-10/15 instead of an actual calendar month? I don’t know. Just go with it…) Before it’s over, I want to recommend an amazing novel that will give you a peek into the lives of Mexican immigrants during the Great Depression: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Full disclosure: I used to work at the company that published this book, and I contributed to a website with activities and materials about the book. But I would have loved Esperanza Rising regardless of how I discovered it! The story is full of twists and the characters are really believable, and it transports you to another time and place that you may not know much about:

Esperanza lives with her loving and wealthy family in Mexico. But tragically, her father is killed by bandits one night. Esperanza and her mother are forced to flee to California, where they must start over with nothing. They find a home with a camp of migrant workers, and Esperanza’s mom immediately takes on hard labor in order to make ends meet. But it’s harder for Esperanza to forget the past and the comfortable lifestyle she was used to in Mexico.

Luckily, Esperanza has a friend in Miguel, whose family moved from Mexico to the U.S. with Esperanza and her mother. But not everyone at the camp is a fan of Esperanza’s. And then things get even worse — and it’s up to Esperanza to keep herself and her mother safe, plus earn enough money to bring her grandmother to join them from Mexico.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, you will love this book. But even if not, I think you’ll find it a fascinating and enjoyable read. Plus, I should mention there’s a little bit of romance too, if you’re into that!

Want to check out an excerpt from Esperanza Rising? You can do that at that website I used to work on!

Have you read Esperanza Rising or any of Pam Muñoz Ryan’s other books? Are you reading something else for Hispanic Heritage Month? Leave a comment and let us know!

— Karen

Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish. Karen’s name means “the pure one” and originates from the name Katherine!

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Books for Hispanic Heritage Month

October 7th, 2010 by

Have you ever heard of a month that runs from September 15 to October 15? Well, now you have — it’s Hispanic Heritage Month! It starts on September 15 because that’s the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Plus Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

So, for our celebration here at Kidsmomo, I’ve put together this handy dandy list of great reads for Hispanic Heritage Month! Or should I say buenos libros para Hispanic Heritage Month? Actually, no I shouldn’t, because you can’t hear me right now, but I’m pretty sure I have TERRIBLE Spanish pronunciation.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t pick out awesome books! And here they are:

Have you read any of these books? Leave a comment and let me know! Or better yet, submit your review for other kids to see!

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

— Karen

Karen took Spanish class in high school, but unfortunately, she doesn’t remember much of it. What sticks in her mind most is that every time she read about Chichen Itza, she thought to herself, “chicken pizza.”

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Hispanic Heritage Month poster from familymwr’s flickr