Customer Reviews for

The House on Mango Street

Average Rating 3.5
( 534 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Love this book

This book was first introduced to me in college. I loved it then and I love it now. The style that Cisneros uses in this book is amazing. I would recommend this book for anyone. I also plan on teaching this book in my classroom in the coming years.

posted by KDW679 on May 23, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Book Review for The House on Mango Street

In The House on Mango Street Esperanza, a 12 year old girl, tells her tale in short vignettes. She tells us what it is like to grow up in a neighborhood that is poverty-ridden. Esperanza tried to not be afraid of the neighborhood that she was confined to, but at times ...
In The House on Mango Street Esperanza, a 12 year old girl, tells her tale in short vignettes. She tells us what it is like to grow up in a neighborhood that is poverty-ridden. Esperanza tried to not be afraid of the neighborhood that she was confined to, but at times I could tell how scared she was. All she wanted was out and to make something of herself. This is an intricate coming of age tale. One that you have to analyze before you can understand it as a whole.
The author, Sandra Cisneros, tried to sound like an authentic 12 year old girl. In my opinion, she tried a bit too hard and it showed. However, once I was able to get over the initial shock of the writing style and into the story, it was rather interesting. Another thing that caught my eye about this book is that most everyone can identify with it. Most people have had to overcome struggles in their lives; some similar to Esperanza¿s and some not. But, overall we have to learn how to overcome them. When Esperanza finally figured out how to overcome her struggles I felt happy for her. However, I was disappointed because it seemed so obvious from the beginning of the book what conclusion she was going to come to.
Esperanza¿s personality was very interesting for me as the reader. This 12 year old seemed so self centered and superficial at times, I literally wanted to jump out of my seat and tell her to, ¿Knock it off.¿ (I refrained from doing so.) On the other hand, all of the other characters in the book were flat, as if they did not matter. I think they all needed more of a background; afterall they helped shape her into who she turned out to be at the end of the book. The plot was dull and hardly present. The book jumped around with each vignette and it was easy to stop caring about the book when it had no real plot. The setting was the most interesting for me as the reader. It drew me in during the first vignette. However, it never went into great depth about the setting. That was a major disappointment. I lost a lot of interest in the book once I realized that the author was not going to have the main character focus on the setting throughout the book.
Overall, I really needed to analyze the book afterward to draw a conclusion about how I felt about it. That conclusion is that it had no effect on my life; it did not move me to change my actions or to re-think my life like so many books do. It was an okay book but not awe inspiring for me. I would not recommend this book. There are many other books that are written better, on this same subject. I would recommend that you go read one of them instead.

posted by aKacia_Tree on December 2, 2008

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  • Posted December 2, 2008

    Book Review for The House on Mango Street

    In The House on Mango Street Esperanza, a 12 year old girl, tells her tale in short vignettes. She tells us what it is like to grow up in a neighborhood that is poverty-ridden. Esperanza tried to not be afraid of the neighborhood that she was confined to, but at times I could tell how scared she was. All she wanted was out and to make something of herself. This is an intricate coming of age tale. One that you have to analyze before you can understand it as a whole. <BR/> The author, Sandra Cisneros, tried to sound like an authentic 12 year old girl. In my opinion, she tried a bit too hard and it showed. However, once I was able to get over the initial shock of the writing style and into the story, it was rather interesting. Another thing that caught my eye about this book is that most everyone can identify with it. Most people have had to overcome struggles in their lives; some similar to Esperanza¿s and some not. But, overall we have to learn how to overcome them. When Esperanza finally figured out how to overcome her struggles I felt happy for her. However, I was disappointed because it seemed so obvious from the beginning of the book what conclusion she was going to come to. <BR/> Esperanza¿s personality was very interesting for me as the reader. This 12 year old seemed so self centered and superficial at times, I literally wanted to jump out of my seat and tell her to, ¿Knock it off.¿ (I refrained from doing so.) On the other hand, all of the other characters in the book were flat, as if they did not matter. I think they all needed more of a background; afterall they helped shape her into who she turned out to be at the end of the book. The plot was dull and hardly present. The book jumped around with each vignette and it was easy to stop caring about the book when it had no real plot. The setting was the most interesting for me as the reader. It drew me in during the first vignette. However, it never went into great depth about the setting. That was a major disappointment. I lost a lot of interest in the book once I realized that the author was not going to have the main character focus on the setting throughout the book.<BR/> Overall, I really needed to analyze the book afterward to draw a conclusion about how I felt about it. That conclusion is that it had no effect on my life; it did not move me to change my actions or to re-think my life like so many books do. It was an okay book but not awe inspiring for me. I would not recommend this book. There are many other books that are written better, on this same subject. I would recommend that you go read one of them instead.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    Love this book

    This book was first introduced to me in college. I loved it then and I love it now. The style that Cisneros uses in this book is amazing. I would recommend this book for anyone. I also plan on teaching this book in my classroom in the coming years.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    My house without Mango Street

    This was probably the WORST book I was ever forced to read. The writing style is dispicable, the interest level is minimal and as for giving it as a gift JUST DON'T. I'm not usually a book basher but just EEESH!

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Creepy for 9th grade required reading

    I read this book because my it was required for my 13 year old's summer reading program. It is completely inappropriate for a child entering 9th grade. I question its value for ANY high school grade. As an adult, I found it offensive, and poorly written, The book had inappropriate subject matter, and should have come with a warning. Why any school would choose this book, when there are so many excellent books out there, is beyond my comprehension. No 13 year old child should have to read a book that discusses sexual abuse. I plan to complain to my child's school district.

    5 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read for Young Adults and for a Senior Class Project

    I am an English teacher and I had my summer students read this book. They absolutely loved it. The book is written in a series of vingnettes which can make the book confusing at first. However, a little research on what a vingnette is and you're on your way. This book would be an excellent choice for a Senior Class Project/Graduation Project too. Students could do a research project on hispanic culture, etc. and then write their own series of vingnettes and turn it into a book.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    This book really confused me...

    I thought this book was pointless and really difficult to understand. I have to write a report on this and I went online and found out she was sexually abbused. I DIDNT EVEN KNOW THAT HAD HAPPENED.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The house on Mango street

    The house on mango street is a amazing book for young readers, It tells you about the hard life of being a person of different color in a place where most things are falling apart and technically you have the worst life you could ever have.<BR/><BR/>And it tells you about how to cope with the death of others and how to deal with ghetto and everything else, Other then that, This book is to teach kids about what the REAL ghetto is like, and Based on the content.. I would like to read this book again, But it was confusing cause she wrote it...Weirdly, But it's a touching book and it has alot of originality and a unique writing style.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2008

    The House on Mango Street: A Great Book

    The House on Mango Street is a book of beginnings with many excellent themes. It is written in a journalistic style which can be hard to follow but is also an excellent style because of the way it sweeps you up into the story. Written from the point of view of Esperanza Cordero, it tells about what it is like to grow up in the slums of Chicago, which Esperanza dislikes very much, but she also enjoys the safety of living in an entirely Latino neighborhood. Esperanza takes you on her journey of adolescence: the friendships, the disappointments, the betrayals, the sorrow of losing a loved one and many more life lessons. One of the more subtle themes in this book is that teenagers always seek acceptance through friendship; hoping to make life happier or easier, or so that they will be more socially accepted.<BR/><BR/>One instance in which this theme shows is in the chapter Sally (P. 81) in which Esperanza meets/sees Sally for the first time. Esperanza, at first, wants to get to know Sally because she likes the way she dresses, the way she does her makeup, and the way she seems so confident. One quote that shows how she feels is this: ¿Sally is the girl with eyes like Egypt and nylons the color of smoke. The boys at school think she¿s beautiful because her hair is shiny black like raven feathers and when she laughs, she flicks her hair back like a satin shawl over her shoulders and laughs¿Sally, who taught you to paint your eyes like Cleopatra? And if I roll the little brush with my tongue and chew it to a point and dip it in the muddy cake, the one in the little red box, will you teach me? I like your black coat and those shoes you wear, where did you get them? My mother says to wear black so young is dangerous, but I want to buy shoes just like yours, like your black ones made out of suede, just like those. And one day, when my mother¿s in a good mood, maybe after my next birthday, I¿m going to ask to buy the nylons too.¿ <BR/><BR/>I enjoyed the book The House on Mango Street especially because I love stories that just pull me right in and don¿t let me go until they are finished and it does just that. It is great for all ages, older or the same age as Esperanza, it is a reliving of the things that go on all the time: friendships, disappointments, gaining loved ones and losing them, all the life lessons. The House on Mango Street is a great book and anyone who doesn¿t read it will be missing out.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    Hi!

    I read this book in sixth grade to me it is the most amazing book i have read. It is because some girls/women go through these things in life and since i was in an pre A.P reading class our teacher made us understand it and i was so sad in the bu tit is a beutiful book overall

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Not my favorite.

    I didnt like this book. Hardly at all. It was the most dull book. I couldnt stay focused. At all.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    The House on Mango Street

    Have you ever been a person that has to move on in life for the good or bad? Well this novel I have to say is a excellent novel to read for thoses who move alot and faces different things in the world.This Novel is about a young girl name Esperanza. Esperanza has moved through quite a few houses and she always wanted to live in a real home or perhaps say a dream house. In this novel she faces different relationships with people. She always expresses her emotions and what she goes through and see whats reality in her eyes.She goes through what teenagers are going through now and days.Like for example relationships with friends.Have you asked your self whos really your friend or whos really just using you.I think the author is trying to say is no matter who you are or what you do you can be someone.The author does a good job explaining when Esperanza tells her emotions.What would catch your attention about the novel is the description of every person she sees.So if you like a novel that discribes facing reality then this is the novel for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The house On Mango Street review

    i reacted to this book in a positive way because it showed me how new kids feel when they are new in a whole different town and school. Also it showed me that where you live doesnt describe who you realyl are in the inside and out.This book is mainly about a girl name by Esperanza and she really didn't like the new town she moved in. She moved near the city of Chicago. The street named by Mango Street. She thinks that in Mango street she can find her own identity. The book is mainly short stories about her family and her. she talks about her life expirences in Mango Street. She meets new people. Even though the people she met are her friends she thinks that she doesn't fit in with anyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    mango street

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    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    Not a "cheeful" book...

    All in all, I was far from impressed by The House on Mango Street. The story is about an adolescent girl named Esperanza. Esperanza lives in a poor neighborhood in Chicago, and dreams of leaving the run down house she shares with her family and making a better life for herself. The book follows her thoughts, feelings, and experiences as she grows up and learns about the hardships of life. I am a very big reader, but this book is not one I would have ever chosen on my own, but it was a school assignment. For starters, the book has atrocious grammar and punctuation. Some people argue that this is because the story is being told by Esperanza, a child, and therefore these mistakes are excusable. I disagree, because the poor grammar combined with the vague and choppy writing styles makes the book rather confusing. Several times, I found myself struggling to determine who had just spoken, or which character said what, and having this puzzle took away any sense of enjoyment. I also disliked the lack of personalities in the minor characters. The whole story is about Esperanza¿s every thought and emotion, and barely any information is given about any other characters; and what little information is given is clouded by Esperanza¿s opinions of the person, and therefore does not really tell the reader anything about them. I also found this book to be extremely depressing. It seemed to me that it was one tragic drama after another, and there was never a truly happy moment in the entire book. Yet another thing that I found difficult was how disconnected the chapters are. I firmly believed you could read the chapters in completely the wrong order, and the book would still make as much sense (or as little sense) as it would if you had read it properly. I actually skipped a chapter in the book by complete accident, and did not realize I had missed anything at all until I came across it while going through the book yet again for quotes. In conclusion, I did not enjoy any part of this book. The writing style was strange, the story was depressing, the characters unsatisfying and the overall tone was rather vague in its descriptions of everything. I would not recommend this book to any of my friends, and I strongly advice against letting children read this book. It is all right for teens, but I was shocked when I read on the back of the book that it is ¿beloved by children¿. Which children are they referring to? All the children I know would be scarred for life by whatever bits of the book they could actually make sense out of. Having said all of this, I would like to emphasize that I NORMALLY DO NOT READ THIS TYPE OF BOOK. I read fantasy, and hardly anything else, so my opinions may not be the best to go on.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2009

    The House on Mango Street Book Review

    I read The House on Mango Street in my class and I thought that it was okay. It is definitely not the best book I have ever read but I still enjoyed it, like I do most books I read. The House on Mango Street is a very interesting book about a girl named Esperanza living in the Latino part of Chicago. Esperanza is the oldest in her family of four children and has moved around a lot with her family in many different places. The last place that they move to is Mango Street where Esperanza feels she does not belong. <BR/>I think that this book was really interesting because of the way it portrays what it was like then and the things people had to go through. One of the chapters/stories that was interesting to me is called ¿Those Who Don¿t¿ this chapter talks about how a lot of people come in their neighborhood scared and how everyone in their neighborhood is a community because they all know each other and stick up for each other. This chapter also kind of talks about the racism because people are afraid of them and it says that it is kind of the same when they go into a neighborhood of a different color. <BR/>In this book the thing I probably like best is Esperanza herself. She is a very creative and strong person who likes to make friends and is always standing up for them no matter what. Through the book Esperanza talks about how she feels like she does not belong in her neighborhood and is always saying how she will leave Mango Street someday. Esperanza is very creative and a very good writer especially poetry, and I think it¿s neat because she uses her writing to escape, in a way. One of my most favorite things in the book is how it says that one day she will escape from Mango Street, but she will come back for the ones she loves who cannot get out. <BR/>Overall I think that this book was pretty good. It was not the best book I¿ve read, but I liked it. Though some of the things in the book were kind of disturbing, a lot of things were very realistic and interesting to read. I would recommend this book to someone who wants something easy and very interesting to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2008

    Good, but not Hemmingway

    Imagine moving again and again and again, from on slum neighborhood to the next. Each time you¿re told, `it¿s only temporary. It¿s just until things get better.¿, but life never gets better and you keep moving. Welcome to the world of Esperanza Cordero; a world conjured by author Sandra Cisneros. For my honors English class, I was told to read The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. At first I¿ll admit, I was a bit wary, but in the end, I found it to be an intriguing piece of true artwork that few could have accomplish.<BR/><BR/> There truly are a very limited number of individuals who can think, let alone write, from a child¿s perspective. Though, Sandra Cisneros¿ wit and childlike humor add an immensely entertaining twist to the melancholy tale of Esperanza Cordero; a young girl growing up in a harsh Latino Chicago neighborhood. At first, much of the story¿s focus is on Esperanza herself (her hopes, dreams, struggles, and desperate wish to belong to something better than Mango Street), but later, we witness Esperanza¿s struggle of understanding; of pushing out of her own mind and into that of the people around her. We see her asking more and more often, ¿why¿. ¿Why did we play that trick?¿, ¿Why didn¿t she say `no¿?¿, ¿Why did they come after me?¿, ¿Why did she stay with a guy she barely knew who had no last name?¿ etc. We witness her growing up and realizing that there is more involved with life than just what she can see, hear, and feel herself. She begins to understand that, while other people have great effects on her life, she alone holds the key to her future. I am a semi fast reader and was able to read it all in two shots. Once on a bus ride to a sporting event and the second time on the way coming home. It¿s quick, easy and relatable, but there¿s so much happening `behind the scenes¿ that I wouldn¿t recommend it to under 7th or 6th grade. I liked how simplistically complex (there¿s an oxymoron for you) Cisneros¿s writing is. Almost a modern day Hemmingway, she uses simple, easy, and short words but uses them to the best that each and every word can be. Yet you often have to look deeper and read between the lines to understand her full meaning. All in all, I¿d say House on Mango Street is worth reading. There¿s no other book like it. <BR/><BR/> Though, the only way to really understand is by reading the book yourself. Allow Cisneros to take you up on a realistic ride of compassion, understanding, humor, and coming of age in The House on Mango Street. You¿ll be glad that you did.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Great book

    I have not finished this book yet but so far it is amazing! I am one of those people who are not a big fan of reading but this book is hitting the spot!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Comment

    Love her straight forward approach. Also I can relate to her experiences

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    I found this book reallllllllllllllllllllllllly difficult to get

    I found this book reallllllllllllllllllllllllly difficult to get into and resorted to reading the reading discussion guide published by Random House to be much more successful in getting the entire point of this work. If needing to read for a class etc. the reading guides that are published will get you to what you need.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    The House on Mango street, in my opinion, gave a very personal a

    The House on Mango street, in my opinion, gave a very personal and accurate depiction of what young, coming-of-age girls worried about in the 80s. Esperanza notices a lot of oppressed women, not necessarily because there were no abusive women but because in that time, domestic abuse and fighting was usually kept at home and not handled by authorities nearly as well as it is today (things like rape are also initiated by men 99% of the time). Neighbors would not report abuse that they over-heard or witnessed nearly as much because it wasn't emphasized as a big problem back then on a political scale until the 80's, and they didn't trust the authorities to help the families correctly. Not only that, but the yoke of gender roles placed upon many female's backs were considered commonplace, and first-wave feminists were still considered extremists. Not only that, but white and black first-wave feminists (the main ethnicities who participated politically in promoting feminism) were separate because of racism, and hispanics like Esperanza would have to support the black feminists because racism from whites was extended towards them also. Lots of first-wave and even some second and third-wave white feminists were and are racists and biased towards blacks and hispanic women, not extending their support of female success and equality to men to these ethnicities.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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