With what’s happening in the US right now in regards to immigrants and immigrant rights, I was reminded of a wonderful story I read for one of my Masters courses.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan is a story of drastic change and the necessity of adaptation. It’s a story of extreme racism and stereotypes. Our heroine, Esperanza is forced to flee Mexico with her family. She has been exceeding wealthy all her life but suddenly she finds herself on the outside looking in. She is now one of the poor she used to judge. The novel opens our eyes to the hopes and dreams of those who came to the “new world”, looking for a better life. For some, like Esperanza, it is to escape from possible hardship and even death. This book really makes you think and question but it is not a difficult read. A straightforward story with a wonderful reflection on how we treat others.
I not sure what the answers are regarding immigration, but I do know that I’m an immigrant and Canada has gifted me with a wonderful life in a beautiful country. While I understand the need to protect citizen’s rights, I sometimes think we lose sight of exactly how privileged we are. How can we deny basic freedoms to others if we have the capacity to provide them? Just as Esperanza discovered, we should be careful because who knows? One day it could be us.
Ages: 10 and up Rating: 4 stars