This is Abuelita, Mama, Papa, and Esperanza. They live on a ranch in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and are very wealthy. Esperanza's 13th birthday is coming up as well as the grape harvest.
Today is Esperanza's birthday, but she has been told some very bad news. Last night papa never came home so his field workers went to look for him. They never found him and he was declared dead. One of the field workers, Miguel, is telling her this sad news.
Since Papa is gone, Esperanza, Mama, and Abuelita will have to move to America because of Esperanza's uncles, Tio Luis and Tio Marco are going to take over the ranch, but Abuelita cannot move yet because they are supposed to stay at the ranch.
Esperanza, Mama, Miguel, and his Mom arrive in Los Angeles, California and must begin working with their family. Suddenly, a dust storm hits and Mama catches Valley Fever, caused by dust spores, and eventually catches pneumonia and must stay in the hospital for many weeks.
Mama finally gets better and Abuelita comes to America because Miguel saved up his money to bring her there as a surprise for Esperanza and they are all together forever.