Teacher Guide

Esperanza Rising Lesson Plan

Introduction to Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpré award and numerous other distinctions, gives readers an inside look into life as a Mexican immigrant during the Great Depression. The book’s young heroine, Esperanza Ortega, flips stereotypes upside down by starting out as the daughter of a wealthy landowner who loses everything to tragedy and must then emigrate to escape further disaster. The story provides a personal glance into the human tragedy of immigration at this difficult time in American history, as well as the repatriation that saw more than a million Mexicans forced to relocate.

Esperanza Rising is fiction, but it’s based on the story of Muñoz Ryan’s own grandmother. As the author...

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