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I taught this book while at Wabash College. The white students from Indiana (with little background in diversity) had a good deal of trouble understanding it, and I did a lot of explaining. However, I found it interesting that an Indian-American student (as in eastern Asia) understood perfectly the tensions and problems of living in two cultures that the author presents.
My grandmother is from Sonora Mexico. I grew up in Phoenix. I'd long heard about this book while in the Southwest. The author nails many of the things one understands and grows up with, yet somehow is never part of, or drifts away from. If you've ever felt yourself in two worlds, you will enjoy this book. If you have Latin heritage, you must read this book! And, this may be a case where reading the paper version is better than the audio version. When I read it on paper, I imagined all of those local dialects and sounds in my past, some of them as my aunts' voices. I believe my experience reading the paper version the book was richer because the sounds in my memory were entangled in the reading experience. The end was very moving.
21 of 23 people found this review helpful
I used this novel in my ESL class this year. I did several types of reading lessons with it, and for the last half of the book, students followed along to the audio book. It went really well. The book is pretty good - it's about a Mexican girl growing up in America and her hopes for her future. It isn't a traditional story telling. This book is made up of shorter stories in order - all shape Esperanza's life though.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful