© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Analysis: Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

The Pura Belpré Award, which honors Latino and Latina authors and illustrators of books for children, was awarded to Pam Muñoz Ryan not once, not twice, but—wait for it—three times. Her first win was for Esperanza Rising. (Source.)

Pam Muñoz Ryan didn't know she wanted to be a writer until she was an adult. She had graduated from college, gotten married, raised four children, and gone back to school to get a Master's degree, all before she ever wrote her first book. It's never too late. (Source.)

The author of Esperanza Rising considers herself "truly American" because she is a descendant of a huge variety of cultures: Spanish, Mexican, Basque, Italian and, of course, Oklahoman. (Source, "About the Author.")

Valley Fever, the sickness that makes Esperanza's Mama so sick in the novel, is a real disease that can affect residents of the San Joaquin Valley. The author even tested positive for Valley Fever at one point. But don't worry, Pam Muñoz Ryan wasn't sick—she was just naturally immunized from having breathed the valley air when she was growing up. (Source, "Author's Note.")

The real Esperanza (Muñoz Ryan's grandma) learned to speak English by taking classes at a church. She also made sure all of her children learned English. (Source.)

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement