Esparanza Rising- Pam Munoz Ryan There are a few novels that inspire us to do good and to ‘adapt’ to situations in life, no matter how hard it may seem. Esparanza is definitely one of these novels. Inspired by a real story, Pam Munoz Ryan tells the story of Ezparanza who experiences many hardships in her life and learns to adapt, but with a price.
Ezparanza’s story starts in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where she lives with her Mama (mum), Papa (dad) and Abuelita (grandmother). She believed her life would always be perfect, living on El Rancho de las Rosas, wearing silk dresses and always having servants. Until one day her father is killed by bandits and her uncles take over the ranch. She and her mother are made to go to California for Mexican migrant works. Just as she is adapting to her situation, her mother falls sick and a strike threatens the survival of herself and her new family of servants. She must push beyond her limits because their lives depend on it.
A novel jammed packed with adventure and excitement. Readers will be eager to find out what happens to Ezparanza next. Told in a fairytale, lyrical-like style, readers will be swept up in what seems like a real struggle that everyone goes through, but on a different level. I thought this book was brilliant!
Boy Overboard- Morris Gleitzman Boy Overboard is written by Morris Gleitzman who eloquently describes the journey of Jamal-a talented soccer player living in war-torn Afghanistan and the difficulties his parents, sister Bibi and himself go through to get to Australia.
Jamal and his family are forced to flee Afghanistan after the government discovered their secret school. They are split up and Jamal begins to give up hope that he will ever see his parents again, until soccer shines its light again on his life.
A book with adventure, culture and pure endurance and perseverance that teaches readers to believe in themselves and always have hope. It also gives readers a chance to learn more about other people and their hardships, and remember to be thankful for their own blessings.
Holes- Louis Sachar
Holes, by Louis Sachar, is a really funny and interesting story of a group of boys that have been sent to a rehabilitation camp for small crimes they have committed.
The main character, Stanley Yelnates, is cursed by his ‘no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather’, and when he is wrongly accused of stealing a pair of sneakers, he is sent to Camp Green Lake where he is made to dig holes all day. But after a while he begins to think that he and the other boys are digging for something more…
The pieces of history come together to create the puzzle of his past. ‘Holes’ is a story of friendship, adventure and digging holes! There are many lessons that a reader can learn from this story- read it and find out more!
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