Pam Munoz Ryan has captured both an individual character and a historical period that had been hard for my kids to imagine.
Esperanza is 12 when her story begins. She is the pampered daughter of a Mexican landowner in the 1930’s, just after the Mexican Civil War. Her father’s death at the hands of bandits sends her and her mother into hiding, and they make their way to the San Fernando Valley. More significant than the miles is the transformation in Esperanza’s spirit.
The book paints the hard issues of the Great Depression and the fight for worker’s rights in a way that is clear yet complex. There are no easy answers here, but lots of great characters.
It’s a beautiful recording of a terrific story. We were all sorry it ended.