Esperanza Rising is the story about a twelve year old girl (Esperanza) growing up in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Esperanza and her family live on an enormous ranch that belongs to her father, El Rancho de Las Rosas (the ranch of the roses). She is the only child, but lives with her grandmother, her mother and father, and their servants. Esperanza’s thirteenth birthday is only a day away, when her father is murdered; then everything goes downhill from then on. After her papa is killed, their ranch is then inherited by Esperanza’s uncles, Tio Marco and Tio Luis. Their house soon catches fire and burns to ashes, so Esperanza and her mother Ramona escape from the horrible uncles and move to California, taking one last look at El Rancho de Las Rosas and what used to be their home.
Esperanza is soon introduced to a whole new life style in California, because she is no longer a spoiled rich girl. She no longer has servants to do everything for her and wait upon her, so Esperanza and her mother Ramona have to start life anew. Esperanza has to learn to do things for herself and learn to help others. She does a lot of growing up in California, and becomes a young woman after all of her struggles.
Esperanza Rising is a great book and I would recommend it to everyone. It was written by Pam Munoz Ryan, and is recommended to children of ages 9 through 12. The book contains some Spanish, though it is pretty basic and context clues can be used to figure out the text.
A lesson taught in the story, is that one shall not be afraid to start over; and one of my favorite quotes portrayed in the book is ‘No hay rosas sin espinas’(there are no roses without thorns) meaning there isn’t a life without difficulties.