Esperanza Rising

Written by Pam Ryan

Reviewed by Yaritza P. (age 10)

Oh how sad, Esperanza Rising is a story about a girl named Esperanza. The story begins in Mexico, when Esperanza, age 12, is looking forward to her 13th birthday. The day before her birthday, her father, Sixto Ortega gets killed by bandidos or bandits. Then her evil uncle tries to get her mother, Ramona, to marry him ! Esperanza's family decides to move to the United States. Will Esperanza survive? Will her life improve or only get worse? Read this book to find out.

I like this book because it is based on a true story. It also helps readers to understand how hard life was for families in Mexico back then. My favorite character was Esperanza because she changed from a naughty, sad girl to someone who thought of others. She was a big help to her mother when Ramona was sick and unable to work. Esperanza even worked in the fields and did jobs that adults do.

I think kids from ages 10 and up will enjoy this book. Kids who like history might also like to read this book. Many of my friends whose first language is Spanish would think this book is easy to read because it has many Spanish words in the story. Esperanza Rising is a Pura Belpre Award winner too !

Yaritza P. is a student in Mrs. Elliott's 5th Grade Class
2003-2004