Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, & servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life and her own depend on it. Pam Munoz Ryan grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California and now lives with her family near San Diego. She based this story on the experiences of her maternal grandmother, whose privileged life in Mexico was altered dramatically when she immigrated to the United States and went to work in a company-owned farm labor camp. Ryan's maternal grandfather also worked in the fields, as did other relatives on both sides of her family, from Mexico and Oklahoma. Ryan is also the author of the novel Riding Freedom, with drawings by Brian Selznick, and numerous picture books, including Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride and When Marian Sang, both also illustrated by Brian Selznick, and Mice and Beans, illustrated by Joe Cepeda.