As part of my new role as one of the coaches for Battle of the Books, I have to read the same books the kids are reading for the battle and help write questions on them. Yes, it's one more thing I have to do, but the list of books has some great ones on it, and as I told my brother yesterday, "Reading kids books is amazing! I was at page 60 a few minutes ago, and I'm already on 100! I'm never reading grown up books again!" Anyways, I digress. Tonight I finished Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, a beautiful coming of age story that truly shows both the realities of poverty and racism as well as the strength of children and families to endure. Esperanza and her mother lose all their money, posessions, and even their father/husband in Mexico. They are forced to flee to America and start a new life as farm workers. This book depicts an emotional, heart-wrenching story of hardship, starting over, and the power of love and children to endure. I sincerely loved this book.