An Un-Calibrated Centrifuge

Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising - Pam Muñoz Ryan

I wish this book were longer. I wish we got to see more of Esperanza's life. I wish the plot about the strikers hadn't been dropped so quickly.


Overall, a good read. This was the pick for this month's book club (which I will be missing because of a basketball game... oops). Historical fiction that is still very relevant today.


I will say though that I wasn't a huge fan of the comparison of Mexican Repatriation to Japanese Internment and the Indian Removal Act (I assume that's what Ryan means by "Native American removals of the nineteenth century"). The comparison felt a little like Oppression Olympics. Which is weird because the book did a good job of navigating race (and class).


There has to be a better way to mention that the US is fond of treating its non-white citizens terribly. One that doesn't make it feel like the different groups are being pitted against each other. The note works without the comparison; the numbers stand for themselves (historians estimate 450,000 to one million Mexicans and Mexican Americans were sent back to Mexico between 1929 and 1935).