Friday, July 22, 2011

My reading list for Children's Literature

2 Pura Belpre Books
1.                          Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
2.                         The Firefly Letters by Margareta Engle
2 Coretta Scott King Award Books
1.                         One Crazy Summer by Rita Garcia-Williams
2.                          Bad News for Outlaws by V. Nelson
4 Bluebonnet Nominees from any year
1.                         Christina’s Ghost by Betty Ren Wright
2.                          Shiloh by Phyllis Naylor
3.                         Superfudge by Judy Blume
4.                         Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary
4 Caldecott Winner or Honor Books from any year
1.                              Knuffle Bunny Too: A case of mistaken identity by Mo Willems
2.                             A Sick Day for Amos McGee by P. Snead
3.                             The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
4.                             How I Learn Geography by Uri Shulevitz
4 Newbery Winner or Honor Books from any year
1.                            The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2.                            Holes by Louis Sacher
3.                            Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
4.                           Whittington by Alan Armstrong
3 from the Notable Books for Children List
1.                           April and Esme: Tooth Fairies by Bob Graham
2.                          Chalk by Bill Thomson
3.                          Pocketful of Posies by S. Mavor
3 from the New York Times Bestseller for Children’s List
1.                         Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
2.                         The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
3.                        Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5 Challenged Books – suitable for children
1.                         Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
2.                         Athletic Shorts  by Chris Crutcher
3.                        On My Honor by Marion Bauer
4.                        Flowers for Algernon by Frances Keyes
5.                        Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Esperanza Rising

Ryan, P.M.  (2000).  Esperanza Rising.  Austin, Tx.: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

This book won the Pura Beltre Award for the year 2000.

Esperanza was born and raised on the beautiful El Rancho de las Rosas, the vineyard owned by her parents, in Mexico.  The day before her 13th birthday, banditos robbed and killed her father.  Her step-uncle Luis was the banker and took control of the land where the house and vineyards stood.  Luis want to marry Esperanza's mother and would not allow her to have control of her money.  She refused so he burned the house and vineyard.  Mama had no income and no house to stay in.  Mama decided to go to America to work as a migrant worker in California.  They had to be very careful not to allow Luis to catch them before they left Mexico, so they hid in a fake panel of a wagon all the way to the train station.  They did not ride in comfort like Esperanza wanted, but mama said they didn't have the money for it.  Esperanza had to learn
many things before she could fit into her new life style.  Among the many jobs she had to learn were to cook, wash clothing, take care of children, work in the packing house, sweep and be humbled.  After mama got sick, she had to work along with her relatives and former servants to keep mama alive in the hospital.  After 3 months in the hospital, mama finally got to come home and about the same time, Miguel brought Abuelita to them in California.  Mama was so happy and I believe Esperanza and Miguel eventually married and had a family in California.

I really liked this book.  I was afraid for Ezperanza and her mother when Luis tried to bully them into doing what he wanted.  Setting the fire was an act of cowardice on his part, it didn't make him any better in my eyes.  He could have killed someone and probably felt no remorse.  I was really happy that they got away from him.