Esperanza Rising

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan


Esperanza Rising tells the story of a young girl who must leave her lavish lifestyle in Mexico in order to escape from her evil uncles. The story explains the difficulties that Esperanza has with getting used to living in the United States. She must overcome her own thoughts, and the thoughts of her new community. The book showcases the struggles that many immigrants face when in a new country. Poverty, discrimination, etc. Esperanza eventually learns to live her new life happily despite missing her home in Mexico.

Classroom use #1

This book can be used in a High School English classroom. The book is appropriate because it has major themes that are present in many Young Adult Novels. Young women would easily identify with Esperanza, because she is trying to find herself while being influenced by many outside forces. This book would align well with a unit on Mexican-American authors, or a unit on literature about immigration.

Classroom use #2

This book can be used in a history classroom. It would align well with a unit on immigration in the United States. It could also be used to compare and contrast with literature written during the holocaust. Students can discuss how the story of Esperanza differs from the story of Anne Frank, and how they are the same.

Why is Esperanza Rising culturally appropriate?

This book does a great job accurately depicting the life of a Mexican immigrant living in the United States. The book correctly describes hardships and obstacles that immigrant children have to overcome when they move to this country. The author of the book is credible because she is a child of Mexican immigrants, and her work is largely influenced by stories told to her by h er father, mother, and grandmother. This book would be especially appropriate in a classroom with a large Mexican population, such as one at Alhambra. Mexican-American students would benefit from this book because they can identify and relate with the main character of the book