Rosa Takes A Chance: Mexican Immigrants in the Dust Bowl Years (1935) (Sisters in Time #21)
Susan Martins Miller
Barbour Publishing (2006)
Reviewed by Anne Marie Medema (age 12) for Reader Views (3/08)
The book “Rosa Takes a Chance” by Susan Martins Miller is written for children ages 8 to 12 years. Susan Martin Miller pens a good story through a heartwarming tale about a girl named Rosa. Susan Martins Miller cleverly winds in facts about Texas during the dust bowl years in a way that interests the reader. At this time in history, the Mexicans had discrimination problems in Texas and throughout America. The author’s writings encouraged me as a young girl to persevere through trouble just like the Mexicans and Rosa were forced to endure. The stories heroine, Rosa, is portrayed as a young girl with a strong faith in God. It is this faith that helped Rosa to gain admittance into a white school. Susan Martin Miller wrote in a way that shows God’s work in ones life through real life circumstances. Biblical points are illustrated in this book through tough worldly situations. Susan Martin Miller writes a cunning story that is both funny and sad at the same time.
In the book “Rosa Takes a Chance” the main character is a 12-year-old Mexican girl named Rosa Sanchez. Rosa lives in a Mexican town in Texas. When living in Texas, the Mexican children must attend the Mexican school that is all play and no learning. Since Rosa is Mexican she is required to be a student at the Mexican school. Rosa longs to receive an academic education to become a teacher. Soon, Rosa secretly walks to the white school and hides in the bushes to hear the school lessons. Mrs. Madden, the Pastor’s wife discovers Rosa hiding in the bushes and encourages her to achieve her dream. Mrs. Madden suggests to Rosa to enter the essay contest writing about why I love America. The results of Rosa’s entry are magnificent. Not only does Rosa win first place but she enters 6th grade in the Texas public school. During this time in history Texas suffers from an event called the Dust Bowl Years. Rosa’s aunt, who is living in Texas at the time, is suffering from breathing in all the dust. A specific dust storm begins and covers the house in dust up to the second floor. During the dust storm Rosa rushes outside to find her Dad who is caught in the dust storm. They find each other and find protection in an adobe hut. When they arrive back at their house they find a shovel to dig out to the front door. This dust storm causes all of Rosa’s teachers to leave Texas and Rosa’s aunt to move to California. This encourages Rosa to start a school available to anyone regardless of race. Rosa becomes one of the teachers at the school. Finally Rosa achieves her lifelong dream of being a teacher.
“Rosa Takes a Chance” by Susan Martins Miller is a heartwarming book. This book inspires me to keep on going when the going gets tough. The author writes in a way that encourages me to never give up. Just as Rosa had a lifelong dream, so the reader must have a goal and the endurance to achieve it! Our ancestors living in the 1930’s had a tough time surviving. This thought gives me pride because they were hard-working and never gave up. If you want to be swept away by dust, read “Rosa Takes a Chance.”