by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Character Role Analysis
Esperanza gets the whole tootin' book named after her, and she's the character we follow throughout the story. (Check out "Narrative Technique" for more on that.) If that weren't enough to prove her protagonism (we just made that word up, but we like it), we also watch her grow and mature as she learns lessons about family, society, hard work, and justice. Case closed.