Why Central Valleyrooms Should Read Esperanza Rising

1544 Words7 Pages

The American dream, hope, and perseverance are the many qualities of Pam Munoz Ryan’s (2000) book Esperanza Rising. The book brings to life the many struggles immigrant families face when trying to build a better life elsewhere. Ryan (2000) shows how hard it is for those to leave all that they know to start over again. She paints a picture of what living was like for migrant workers at that time. She also shows how hard work takes its toll on people. However through it all, with the help of family and friends, one can overcome hardships and find a way to make their dream of a better life become a reality. Esperanza Rising is such a valuable book to use in any Central Valley classroom because it allows migrant students to connect and relate …show more content…

A migrant worker is a person working outside of their home county. Some move from different places doing seasonal work while others remain in one place. Most migrant workers find jobs in the agriculture related industry. The Central Valley in California is home to many migrant families. “Unemployment rates remain high in much of the valley despite strong job growth because of the cyclical nature of employment in one of the valley’s key industries (agriculture)” (Johnson & Hayes, 2004, p. 56). The Central Valley provides food for California and most of the rest of the United States because of the diverse regions and climate. These job opportunities keep migrant workers coming to California looking to build a better life for themselves and their families. Esperanza Rising takes place in the San Joaquin Valley, which is the Central Valley that makes it even more relatable. It mentions places like Bakersfield and other valley towns that make it come to life for the …show more content…

In a conversation with Esperanza Miguel talks about life in Mexico. He says “‘my father and I have lost faith in our country. We were born servants here and no matter how hard we work we will always be servants’” (Ryan, 2000, p. 35). He continues to talk about life in the United States saying, “ ‘the work is hard in the United States but at least there we have a chance to be more than servants’” (Ryan, 2000, p.35). There are many reasons migrant families leave their countries. They might be forced out, for political or economic reasons, or because they have family already living in the United States. However, the main goal for many is to become more like Miguel explained. For any migrant child living in the Central Valley they can connect to this American dream because that is what their family is trying to do. When talking to a student at Roosevelt Elementary in Hanford, CA he explained the reason his family moved to California. He said, “My father wanted me and my brother to have a better life than him.” This book can help immigrant children make a connection because they see their families, working hard, trying to achieve this better life for

Open Document