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In Chapter Eight, Isabel gives Esperanza some last minute advice for taking care of the Pepe and Lupe as she boards the bus for her first day of school. For the first time, Esperanza is responsible for taking care of the babies as well as preparing dinner for everyone who is working during the day. Esperanza starts making dinner and feeds the babies plums, which makes them happy. Esperanza is feeling confident - that is, until the babies get sick from the plums and she burns the food for everyone else. Even though Esperanza has made mistakes, Isabel compliments the older girl for curing the children's stomach troubles with rice. Nobody mentions the terrible dinner.
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