Biography of Pam Muñoz Ryan

Pam Muñoz Ryan was born December 26th, 1951, in Bakersfield, California. Raised in a half-Mexican, half-American family, Ryan spent her childhood straddling two cultures in the San Joaquin Valley. As a young girl, Muñoz Ryan spent many hours reading books at the local libraries. She attended Bakersfield Junior College before transferring to San Diego State University.

Upon graduation, Muñoz Ryan became a bilingual teacher. However, she eventually quit her job to raise her two children. She later returned to school to get her masters degree in post-secondary education. With encouragement from her graduate school professors, Muñoz Ryan began to pursue her dream of writing children's books. In 1994, Scholastic published her first novel, One Hundred is a Family.

Muñoz Ryan has received numerous accolades for her writing, including the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for her novel, When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson. Riding Freedom, Muñoz Ryan's 1998 novel, won several awards, including the National Willa Cather Award for Best Young Adult Novel and the Teacher's Choice Award. Muñoz Ryan's most widely-read novel, Esperanza Rising, won the Jane Addams Children's Book Award in 2000.

Study Guides on Works by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza Rising was published in 2000. It is the fictional story of Esperanza Ortega, a privileged girl growing up in Mexico on her family's farm. However, her life is shattered when her father is murdered. Esperanza must leave behind her family’...