Esperanza Rising

Section 1

    1. dwindle: diminish gradually in size, amount or strength
    2. salvage: to rescue from loss at sea
    3. scythe: a tool to cut crops such as wheat, grass
    4. sympathetic: showing, feeling or expressing sensitivity
    5. taunting: a remark made in order to anger, wound or provoke someone
    6. valise: a small traveling bag or suitcase
Comprehension Questions
    1. Pap says if you lad down on the land you can feel its breathe and heart beating. (pg. 1)
    2. When Esperanza’s thumb begins bleeding she automatically thinks it is a sign of bad luck. (pg. 8)
    3. As Abuelita unravels Esperanza’s rows of crocheting she tells her never to be afraid to start over. (pg. 15)
    4. Alfonso has stayed in Mexico instead of going to the US with the rest of his family because of his attachment to Esperanza’s papa and Rancho de las Rosas. (pg. 16)
    5. Every year on Esperanza’s birthday Hortensia make a papaya-coconut salad. (pg. 25)
    6. Every night Esperanze closes her eyes tight and tries to find the dream where papa sings her the birthday song. (pg. 38)
    7. Esperanza saves the doll her papa had bought for her birthday from the fire. (pg. 40)
    8. Before Miguel saves Abuelita, she was getting her crochet so she would have something to do while they wait. (pg. 42)
    9. After Tio Luis leaves Esperanza sees sadness, worry and pain on her mother’s face. (pg. 48)
    10. Mama says that the trunk of clothes is for her and Esperanza as they are now poor. (pg. 53)
    11. The burned grape rows look “as if someone had taken a giant comb, dipped it in black paint, and gently swirled it across a huge canvas.” (pg. 56)
    12. Sadness and anger tangle in Esperanza’s stomach as she thinks of all that she is leaving. (pg. **)

Section 2

      1. accost – to approach or address boldly or aggresively
      2. bestow: to confer or present and honor, right or gift
      3. monotonous: dull, tedious and repetitious action or sound
      4. sparse: thinly dispersed or scattered
      5. stagnant: having no current or flow in a body of water often having an unpleasant smell
      6. undulate: move with a smooth wavelike motion
Comprehension Questions
      1. Esperanza, Mama, Miguel, Hortensia and Alfonso take the wagon to Zcatecas to catch the train because there are bandits and the uncles have spies who would report their leaving. (pg. 59)
      2. When the bandits come to the house Miguel has a big field mouse in his pocket. (pg. 62/63)
      3. When a peasant girl tries to touch Esperanza’s doll she quickly jerks it away and puts it back into her valise, covering it with old clothes. (pg. 69)
      4. At every stop Miguel and Alfonso get off the train with a package, unwrap it, dampen it, then rewrap it. (pg. 72/73)
      5. While on the train Mama confides to Carmen, a poor peasant women all that has happened to her since her husband’s death. (pg. 76)
      6. Mama’s heart aches for the people who are sent back into Mexico because either their papers are false, or there is no proof of work. (pg. 83/84)
      7. The only difference between the twins, Pepe and Lupe is the tiny gold loop earrings in Lupe’s ears. (pg. 88)
      8. Marta says that the workers are not mixed because if they mixed they might band together to strike for better housing or higher wages. (pg. 98)
      9. Mama says that she and Esperanza have two choices at the camp. One, to be together and miserable, or two, be together and happy. (pg. 104)
      10. Esperanza tells Sylvia that her best friend is Marisol who lives in Aguascalientes. (pg. 112)
      11. On the railroad Mexicans are only hired to lay track and dig ditches, not as mechanics. (pg. 120)

Section 3

        1. extravagant: lacking restraint in spending money or using resources
        2. frigid: very cold in temperature
        3. listless: lacking energy or enthusiasm
        4. plead: to make an emotional appeal
        5. preoccupied: to dominate or engross the mind to the exclusion of other thoughts
        6. yearn: to have an intense feeling of longing for something
Comprehension Questions
        1. Miguel puts a makeshift trellis by Esperanza’s rose so that she can climb it. (pg. 124)
        2. Esperanza wants to go to the Jamaica that evening because Isabel’s mother will be selling the almond flan she has made and it is her favorite sweet. (pg. 129)
        3. The three things Esperanza will pray for in church are her grandmother; that Miguel will find a job at the railroad and that she will have some white coconut candy with a white stripe on it. Pg 137)
        4. When Esperanza was sick as a child Hortensia would give her rice water. (pg. 142)
        5. Esperanza, Melina and the babies run inside the cabin because a dust storm is about to hit. (pg. 147)
        6. Juan, Alfonso and Miguel’s faces remind Esperanza of cracked pottery because their faces were encrusted with dry dirt from the dust storm. (pg. 151)
        7. Valley Fever is an infection of the lungs in which dust spores get into the lungs and cause a cough, a fever and aching joints. (pg. 155)
        8. If Esperanza is good at cutting potato eyes she will be hired to tie grapes. (pg. 166)
        9. The truck rumbles slowly on the dirt roads because the driver could only see a few yards ahead. (pg. 167/168)
        10. Marta’s aunt says her family will not join the strike because they have too many mouths to feed. (pg. 171)
        11. What Esperanza wants for Christmas is for her mother to get well, more work and soft hands. (pg. 175)

Section 4

          1. bedraggled: dirty and disheveled
          2. desolate: deserted of people and in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness
          3. despondent: in low spirits from loss of hope or courage
          4. makeshift: serving as a temporary substitute
          5. relapse: to suffer deterioration after a period of improvement
          6. squalor: a state of being extremely dirty, especially as a result of poverty or neglect
Comprehension Questions
          1. Esperanza goes to see Mama at the hospital on Saturdays and Sundays. (pg. 179)
          2. When Esperanza visits Mama she plaits her hair into a long braid. (pg. 184)
          3. Esperanza’s favorite part of the market store is the ceiling, which is crowed with Japanese paper lanterns and Mexican piñatas shaped like stars and donkeys. (pg. 189)
          4. Asparagus has to be picked before the high temperatures touch the valley in June. (pg. 199)
          5. While looking for more rubber bands Esperanza is startled to find Marta behind some crates desperately hiding from immigration officers. (pg. 208)
          6. The Mexicans are allowed to swim in the Oklahoma camp’s pool on Friday afternoons before it is cleaned on Saturday. (pg. 218)
          7. Esperanza’s heart aches when she sees the first bloom of Papa’s roses because she wants to tell Miguel, but he has left the camp because of her word to him. (pg. 225)
          8. When the doctor tells Esperanza that her Mama can go home in a week she cries and laughs at the same time at the news. (pg. 229)
          9. When Miguel returns he brings Abuelita with him. (pg. 239)
          10. The first thing Isabel asks Abuelita when they meet is, “ Do you really walk barefoot in the grapes and carry smooth stones in your pockets?” pg 241)
          11. While telling Abuelita, the story of their time at the camp, she measures time in spans in which fruits and vegetables are picked. The time of the land. (pg. 246)