[2015] Shea Delcid: Esperanza Rising

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[2015] Shea Delcid: Esperanza Rising

Title: Esperanza RisingAuthor: Pam Munoz RyanPublisher: Scholastic Inc.Publish Date: June 2007

1924-1930Aguascalientes, Mexico el Rancho de las Rosas1930-1931The San Joaquin Valley, California


Main Characters:

United Farm Workers

The story begins on a ranch called Rancho de las Rosas owned by Sixto and Ramona Ortega. Their daughter, Esperanza, is the main character of the novel that is described as a twelve-year-old girl who has lived a privileged life in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Her father was one of few wealthy ranch owners left after the Mexican Revolution. Due to his status and wealth, bandits killed Sixto while working on the ranch, leaving it to his dishonest stepbrother’s to take over. Unfortunately, their intensions were not in the best interest of Ramona and Esperanza, which lead to their escape to

central California where they settled in a camp for Mexican farm workers.Esperanza was forced into a new way of life that required hard work on the agriculture farms in the San Joaquin Valley. Shortly after arriving to California, Esperanza’s mama became very ill, which forced her to rise above the difficult circumstances and financially support them both. She became determined to work harder than ever before despite the horrible working conditions and discrimination from the white landowners.

Plot Summary, Conflict & Resolution:

Esperanza Rising helps readers understand the struggles and conditions of the Mexican farm workers who migrated to California. Furthermore, the author incorporated a powerful message of personal growth and compassion towards others. Much like the symbolic example of the phoenix, this story encompasses rising again and never being afraid to start over. “We are like the phoenix,” said Abuelita. “Rising again, with new life ahead of us” (Ryan 50).

•Ramona Ortega: Mama•Sixto Ortega: Papa•Esperanza Ortega: Daughter of Ramona and Sixto (main character of story)•Abuelita: Esperanza’s Grandmother•Tio Luis ad Tio Marco: Stepbrother’s to Sixto Ortega•Miguel: Alfonso’s son•Marta: Fights for the rights of migrant workers and organizes a strike.

Author's Purpose:

Perhaps the best-known Mexican American movement of the postwar years was the United Farm Workers (UFW) in the 1960s and '70s. The UFW organized farmworkers nationwide and pressured employers through boycotts of non-union produce. These campaigns received widespread publicity, and the UFW's leader, César Chávez, became a well-known representative of the Mexican American community nationwide. (http://www.loc.gov)


Works Cited:Ryan, Pam Muñoz. Esperanza Rising. New York: Scholastic, 2007. Print.


Author, Pam Ryan Munoz had an encouraging and sympathetic tone while telling Esperanza's story.



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