Written by Pam Ryan
Reviewed by Katie M. (age 11)
A rich girl named Esperanza has beautiful gifts and servants. Then there is a terrible accident. Her father is killed. His horrible brother says if Mama doesn't marry him, he will take the land. Mama doesn't marry him so he burns the land. Abuelita hurts her ankle, so she can't leave. Mama and Esperanza run away to California secretly.
Once they have arrived safely in California, they travel with Miguel, Alfonso, and Hortencia to camp. They share a cabin with another family, Josefina, Jose, Isabel, and the two babies. When things start to get easier, there's a dust storm. Mama gets sick so she goes to the hospital. Esperanza has to get a job in the fields. The money she makes is for the hospital bill, food, and money to bring Abuelita to her. On top of everything, other camps are starting to strike. If they aren't careful, they could die.
Then, Mama comes back from the hospital. That night, Esperanza wants to show Mama the money she has saved, but when she looks for it, it's gone. Miguel had run away and taken it. The next day, Miguel tells them to meet him at the train station. When they arrive, he apologizes. Soon after, a train arrives with Abuelita on it. In the end, everyone is happy.
I would not have changed this book. It tells about the hard things in life. My favorite part of the story is when Abuelita comes. It is sweet. My favorite character is Isabel. She is hardworking, and kind. Tio Louis is my least favorite character because he burned the ranch.
This story shows if you work hard, you will be rewarded just like real life. It reminded me of how difficult life can be. Everyone should read this story because it is amazing and I loved reading it.