Dear Pam Munoz Ryan,
As I read your touching book, Esperanza Rising, the thoughts that ran through my mind were so incredible I could not even come close to shutting the book. When I heard that Papa had been killed, I was devastated. Even though I was devastated I also felt good inside because I read about someone who felt the same as I did when my aunt passed away. Even though she wasn't my father, I still loved her as much as Esperanza loved Papa.
After Esperanza's house burned down and her family needed help, I felt as if I was trapped in a cage because I wasn't able to do anything. Once I found out the family had no money and had to leave their burned home, the state, and their friends, my body was filled with anger. I could not believe that Esperanza's own uncle had caused them to move just because Esperanza's mother wouldn't marry him. As I read I was thinking that is kind of like the time I moved, except for the fact that my house had not burned down, but I still missed things like living next door to my grandmother, a huge backyard, my first home, and the beach next to a lake in our backyard.
As I read that Esperanza was on her way to her new home, I was so surprised that the women had to lie between two floors only wide enough to fit their bodies. That would be horrible! Your story made me imagine my self in a small, narrow space. I imagined I could not move at all. It was horrible! When they arrived I felt bad that their house looked disgusting and it was not completely finished, but I was also very excited because even though it wasn't the best place to live, at least they had jobs and a place to call home.
When I read that Esperanza's family only got paid minimum wage, I thought they should go on strike. Then they did! I just about fell out of my chair! After they had been on strike for a while, my uncle went on strike. Reading about this helped me understand why my uncle was on strike.
At the end of your book, I was so happy when Esperanza realized that maybe her life wasn't so bad after all.