Reviews for Esperanza Rising


AudioFile Reviews 2001 August/September
Esperanza Ortega adores her family's beautiful El Rancho de las Rosas. Like her father, she loves the land, the grapes, the bird songs, even the servants, all part of her privileged life. But her contentment dissolves with her father's brutal murder. Forced to flee, 14-year-old Esperanza and her mother escape Mexico to a migrant camp in California with nothing more than the goodwill of their former servants. Trini Alvarado gives the lyrical text a sensitive reading, faithfully portraying Esperanza's transformation from a pampered, self-important rich girl to a generous and self-aware young woman. The richness of Alvarado's Spanish infuses the reading, and the text affords her an opportunity to display her beautiful singing voice, as well. Rich in history and culture, this novel is all the more successful in the audio format. T.B. ¬ AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2001 #6
Thirteen-year-old Esperanza leads a privileged life in Mexico, surrounded by servants and an adoring family. When disaster strikes, she is unprepared for the wholesale changes she must now face. Narrator Trini Alvarado seamlessly weaves the Spanish phrases, traditional sayings, and unfamiliar place names into the text. For Abuelita, Alvarado's voice ages ever so slightly; for Miguel, she conveys his dual role as both servant and friend; for Esperanza's evil uncles, her voice drops to a slow, menacing drawl. Her best creation is Esperanza herself: Alvarado's voice grows firmer and stronger with each step the character takes along her rocky path. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 August
Gr 6-9-Inspired by her grandmother's immigration stories, Pamela Mu-oz Ryan (Scholastic 2000) offers valuable glimpses of the lives of Mexican-American farm workers during the Depression. When her father dies, 13-year-old Esperanza and her mother are forced to abandon their privileged lives and move to California. At first the proud girl is appalled that they must share a cramped row house and work at menial jobs, but when her mother becomes gravely ill, she learns the value of generous friends and her own inner resources. This coming-of-age story also looks at the economic and social issues of that era, and the author's note adds valuable factual information. Trini Alvarado's narration is adroit and melodic as she handles text that skillfully intersperses Spanish phrases and songs. Pairing this story with Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Cat Running (Delacorte, 1994) will give listeners broader insights into the difficulties of the 1930's. This recording is a solid choice for all elementary and middle school audiobook collections, and a necessity for libraries serving Spanish-speaking populations.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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