Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Winner of the Pura Belpre Award
Esperanza has it all in her village in Mexico. Her father is a wealthy farmer, they have the best of clothes, many servants...there is nothing more that she could ask for. Until the day her father is killed by bandits. The family sweeps in, destroying the empire he had worked so hard to create. Esperanza and her family flee to America, where they are forced to work long and hard for the barest essentials.
Beautifully written, my heart ached for this little girl who had turned into one of the peasants she had previously turned her nose up to. But she becomes stronger, and learns what it takes to build a home where family can be together.