Results of the Pura Belpré Award in the year 2002.
When Esperanza and Mama are forced to flee to the bountiful region of Aguascalientes, Mexico, to a Mexican farm labor camp in California, they must adjust to a life without fancy dresses and servants they were accustomed to on Rancho de las Rosas. Now they must confront the challenges of hard work, acceptance by their own people, and economic difficulties brought on by the Great Depression. When Mama falls ill and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperana must relinquish her hold on the past learn to embrace a future ripe with the riches of family and community.
At the age of fourteen, Francisco Jiménez, together with his older brother Roberto and his mother, are caught by la migra. Forced to leave their home, the entire family travels all night for twenty hours by bus, arriving at the U.S. and Mexican border in Nogales, Arizona.
In the months and years that follow, Francisco, his mother and father, and his seven brothers and sister not only struggle to keep their family together, but also face crushing poverty, long hours of labor, and blatant prejudice. How they sustain their hope, their goodheartedness, and tenacity is revealed in this moving sequel to The Circuit.
Without bitterness or sentimentality, Francisco Jiménez finishes telling the story of his youth.
In the final installment in the series, Francisco X. Alarcón shows children a city where people are bridges to each other and children sing poetry in two languages. A family frolic in the snow reminds the poet of the iguanas playing by his grandmother's house in Mexico. Readers are dazzled by the promise of the seedling redwoods — like all children — destined to be the ancestors of tomorrow.
Maya Christina Gonzalez creates a spirited family of children and adults who swing their way through colorful pages. Collages of old maps of Mexico and California provide intriguing backgrounds, and fun-loving iguanas peek out from the most surprising places.