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Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza Rising Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Do you ever hear about immigration in the news? What's all the hubbub about? What are some of the debates going on about immigration to the United States?
  2. Did Esperanza and her family do the right thing in deciding not to join the workers' strike? What would you have done in her situation? How might the story have been different if Esperanza had become a striker?
  3. Who is your favorite character in Esperanza Rising? Write their Facebook fan page.
  4. What is the minimum wage in the state where you live? Why do you think we have a minimum wage in the United States?
  5. Esperanza's father often says, "Aguántate tantito y la fruta caerá en tu mano,"/ "Wait a little while and the fruit will fall into your hand." In other words: be patient! And Abuelita says things like, "No hay rosa sin espinas,"/ "There is no rose without thorns," which means that everybody's life has some difficulties. Do any of your family members, friends or teachers have a favorite saying? What does it mean? Could you apply this saying to Esperanza's story?
  6. Why are all of the chapters in Esperanza Rising named after fruits and vegetables?
  7. Esperanza changes a lot over the course of the novel. How would a conversation go between fourteen-year-old Esperanza and twelve-year-old Esperanza? Would they understand each other? Get into a fight? Would twelve-year-old Esperanza even recognize her older self?
  8. How would Esperanza's experience be different if she tried to immigrate to the U.S. today, instead of in 1930?
  9. How would the story be different if it were told from Miguel's perspective?

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