Abuelita is full of wise little gems in Esperanza Rising, but our favorite one is this: "Do not be afraid to start over" (2.38). If perseverance had a tagline, that would be it, don't you think? That or "get up off your lazy bum and keep at it." Either way.
Esperanza quickly figures out that Abuelita isn't just talking about crocheting. Our young protagonist is forced to leave her home, her friends, and all of the comforts of her former life in order to start over in a strange new country—the United States. Esperanza and her family work hard for pennies a day and live in poverty. And to make matters worse, they have to contend with racism and prejudice. But Esperanza, whose name means "hope" in Spanish, never gives up. Why? Because she has the support and love of her family and that special spark inside her.
Esperanza really learns what it means to be determined when her mom gets sick and she has to take on the responsibility of leading the family.
Miguel is the main force behind Esperanza's perseverance—his ambition and optimism convince her to keep on keepin' on.