Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
We are reading this lovely novel as a part of our study skills class. Since I have ELL students who are learning English as a second language, I decided to read a novel that I had heard was very rewarding, and I was not mistaken. Each time I read it in class I just wanted to keep on reading and so this weekend I finished it at home. It had a lovely ending, but I wonder if it has a sequel. You would expect it to have a sequel where we could see how Esperanza's adult life was faced and triumphed over difficulties. It was good to see her mother get out of the hospital and the family reunited. I also enjoyed how Esperanza made la sopita de arroz, which sounded very similar to the rice soup my mama would make me growing up. I so enjoyed when she talked about making beans, that I made half a bag of dried pink beans and have enough beans for several days. My students as a result of reading the novel want to learn how to crochet since she mentions crocheting so much. The story is full of life lessons, full of sweetness, kindness, and compassion, and most of all hard work. So if you are looking for a good read for a young person, this is a good book to pick.