Pam Muñoz Ryan source photo: http://www.pammunozryan.com/bio.html author of Esperanza Rising
Pam Muñoz Ryan was born and raised in California's San Joaquin Valley.
She grew up with many of her aunts and uncles and grandparents nearby and considers herself truly American because her cultural background is an ethnic smorgasbord. She is Spanish, Mexican, Basque, Italian, and Oklahoman.
While each of her stories is uniquely its own, they hold a common connection of characters with great strength of heart.
In Esperanza Rising (Scholastic, 2000) Ryan mined her own family for ideas. Although Esperanza’s personality is based on Ryan as a child, Esperanza’s riches-to-rags story comes from Ryan’s grandmother.
Much of the story takes place in California migrant camps during the Great Depression. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?toddbib:3:./temp/~ammem_CNBB:: Source photo http://history1900s.about.com/library/photos/blygd45.htm http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?toddbib:3:./temp/~ammem_CNBB::
Esperanza Rising is the winner of the Pura Belpré Award which honors Latino authors whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in a children's book 2001 ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults Smithsonian Best Books 2000