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The Grapes of Wrath Although this novel may be on a bit higher reading level, it is a good companion to Esperanza Rising for the fact that it focuses on the plight of immigrants. Steinbeck wrote it as an outspoken rebuttal to the conditions of the era and a lot of controversy arose when it was published. "Banned" and "scorned" are two words used to describe the text and we believe that means it is a good read, but please check it out and make your own decision.
The Great Depression Mama was not the only one depressed during the 1930s and 1940s. The country was going through one of the most difficult times in our history, and many people struggled just to survive it. Although Esperanza was experiencing a different wave of depression and poverty, she would soon have more company than she cared to admit. Check out how this all played out in our Great Depression section on Shmoop.