Rosa Takes A Chance

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Rose smiled through her tears. “Oh, Henry, I’ll miss you. I don’t know if I can keep hoping, though.”
Mrs. Madden took her hand again. “Of course you can. You’re trusting God, remember? We all take chances no matter what we decide to do. Your uncle is taking a chance on California. Your father is taking a chance on Texas. I’m taking a chance on St. Louis. Take a chance on God, Rosa.”

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 9-15
Subjects: Racism, Education, Hope
Summary: She just wants an education. A good education that is. Rosa is sick and tired of the pathetic excuse for education the teacher at the Mexican school is giving. It seems no one expects the Mexican children to learn anything. The kids just play all day and the teacher seems content to let them. Rosa has a hunger for education. In the midst of the dust bowl though, no one is concerned with it. Survival is the focus. Rosa’s uncle gives up and moves her sister and nephew away in hopes of finding a place where Tia can breathe again. The dust makes her too sick to stay. Rosa’s brother gives up too, convinced that California holds the answers. Rosa’s dad is sure the rains will come eventually and the land will be good for farming again. Soon most of the town has left and the most severe dust storm completely destroys the school. Is all hope for learning gone?
Notes: Rose Takes A Chance is the twenty-first in the Sisters-In-Time series. This series features young girls living at various key points in American history, particularly around the wars. It always places the girls right at the edge of the teen years, coming of age.  The concept of the series it to not only show a glimpse of history, but to help young girls feel that the people back then weren’t that different than the people today.
Rosa Takes A Chance is set in 1935 during the time of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl which caused even more suffering for the already poor Mexican Immigrants in Texas. It focuses on a few different impacts the dust bowl had – it caused poor health, it caused poverty as nothing would grow in the dry soil, and it caused a lack of education as teachers gave up and moved out of the area. In this story, Rosa has to organize a school herself after many of the teachers move and the dust storm destroys the school building. The spiritual theme is hope. Rosa is encouraged to not give up hope even when it seems all is stacked against her. Her teacher tells her to put her hope in God.  
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Romans 8:22-25 - We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.


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