A pampered only child, Esperanza is used to getting her way around her father’s affluent Mexican ranch, Rancho de las Rosas. But when her father is killed by bandits and her greedy uncles swoop in and take the land away from her mother, Esperanza must find her core of inner strength and be brave in the face of great adversity. Because now, she and Mama have nothing and must immigrate to the United States to work. But the Great Depression is going on, and the only work to be found is migrant farm work–hard, back breaking labor that ruins smooth hands and lines faces. Esperanza learns that class, honesty and integrity have nothing to do with how many dresses or servants you have, but how you live your life and treat those around you. Esperanza wants to believe that she can conquer this new way of life, but when Mama gets sick, it’s hard to keep going. But her name means hope–and that has to stand for something. Based on the events that took place in her family, Pam Munoz Ryan’s simple story provides a warm, wise, empowering message for girls everywhere.