Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

“Esperanza Rising” is a historical fiction about a little girl who went from a pampered life in Mexico to a hard labor in the United State in the 1930s. After losing her father, possibly murdered by his stepbrothers, Esperanza fled from her home with her mom and a family of former servants to California to start over. As Esperanza and her mom try to rebuild their lives working as migrant farmers, they face many difficulties and struggle to keep the hope alive.

It is beautifully written and quite appropriate for my 10-year-old son. I was worried that the murder might be too violent, but much of it is implied and not specific. Also, the language is clean without any inappropriate words. The flow of the story slows at some parts, and the plot doesn’t fully develop as I hoped it would, but overall it is a very good book for young readers.

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