Customer Reviews for

The House on Mango Street

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 11 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

10 out of 14 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    EZPERANZA'S NEW NEIGHBORHOOD

    This book the house on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is extremely a good book. It demonstrates how a girl is maturing in her new neighborhood. In the beginning of the book The House On Mango Street, it demonstrates how and why Ezperanza, her parents, brothers and her sister Nenny had to leave their old apartment and move into this new house on the location of Mango Street. She elaborates the significance of her new ove. She also elaborates the disadvantages of her new home. She explains how the House that they just moved to is great, because they no longer have to depend on the landlord to do things for them, as in the apartment they were living in before they moved. Also, the main character is ashamed to call that her new home after a lady talks to her. The disadvantageas are that, that is not the house that her mom, dad, brothers, sister, and herself envisioned as a house. Though, her father explained to her that they will move very soon, Ezperanza doubts that they would. Now, this is enough information about the book. To find out more information, you will have to read this thrilling/ remarkable book. It gets better and better every time you read it. If you like drama, touching, romance and thrilling this is the right book for you. Two important events that happen in this book is when Ezperanza is maturing as an adult. My opinion about the main character maturing is great, because she is between the age of 12-13 and she is learning how to become a young lady. Also, she finds herself unattractive, and her mom says that she will become prettier whren she gets older and older. My opinion is that the character should of been proud about the way she looks. The main character also develops her first crush, but you will have to read the book to find out more about her crush. In my opinion, the content of this book is great. The style, language and tone are great too. My opinion is that this book is great, and that anyone will enjoy reading, no matter what age you are. You can read this book probably on your work break, recreation time, or your way to work. This book is also great to read in a book club. I know that the students in the book club will have a remarkable time reading and discussing this book together. Also, if you know someone that likes to read, and they like drama, touching, romance and thrilling, it will be a great book tio give to them as a gift. It is also great to have a topical conversation with. You will bring out many details, and enjoy what others have to say about this book. This book also has an outstanding moral, and it will definitely teach you alot. The moral that they expressed in this book, you can also relate to it in the real life. My opinion is that this book should be in every permanent library there is. In fact, I think that this book can be a best selller. That is hiw great this book is. Anyone will have funreading this book. You would want to read this book over and over again. You will never get tired of reading this book over and over again. Even if its ten, twenty, or even thirty, you will still find this book amazing. In fact, you will find clues in the book that you didn't find before. It will feel like this is the first time you read the book. Overall, this book is outstanding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    This book is unique.

    This book shows me that you need to keep your dreams, because one day, they just might come true. Now it also taught me some other very valuable lessons. Now this book is a little confusing if you don't keep up, But Sandra uses amazingly well written poetry to tell the story of a girl who's heart is in the right place. It's also an easy read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2008

    Good Book to Read

    The House on Mango Street is an interesting book to read. Although it may be hard to understand the writing at first, it becomes easier to read as you delve further into the book. The House on Mango Street follows the life of Esperenza, a young girl who is maturing. At first, she is a little naive, but at the end of the book she becomes aware about all the bad things in life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2008

    A reviewer

    People who are just reading it without knowing what to expect or how to analize it will not know what this book is about. They will not get it, but when you look at it carefully it you have any brains at all you can make sense of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2008

    Good book...full of deeper meanings

    In this book The House on Mango Street, written in short vignettes, the author Sandra Cisneros tells a story about a girl Esperanza Cordero growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Esperanza talks about moving from different house and how some day she dreams of her own house and she pictures what it looks like. As the story goes Esperanza talks about her family life and the hardships of different aspects of her life. The ways she tells thing come off in a different way. Each vignette has a deeper meaning. For example A Rice Sandwich 'pg 43' 'Then she was sorry and said I could stay-just for today, not today, not tomorrow or the day after-you go home. And I said yes and could I please have a Kleenex-I had to blow my nose.' Here Esperanza wants to eat in the 'canteen' but since she was Latino she had to walk home for lunch everyday. In this novel we see the hardships for a Latino teenage growing up/living in a city for most of her life. I personally liked this book because I am a teenager my self, and it gives me a different perspective of how another teenage of a different culture deals with things compared to me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2008

    The House On Mango Street

    The House on Mango Street traces Esperanza Cordero's coming-of-age through a series of vignettes about her family, neighborhood, and secret dreams. Although the novel does not follow a traditional chronological pattern, a story emerges, nevertheless, of Esperanza's self-empowerment and will to overcome obstacles of poverty, gender, and race. The novel begins when the Cordero family move into a new house, the first they have ever owned, on Mango Street in the Latino section of Chicago. Esperanza is disappointed by the red, ramshackle house. It is not at all the dream-house her parents had always talked about, nor is it the house high on a hill that Esperanza vows to one day own herself. Esperanza is not only ashamed of her home, but she is also uncomfortable with her outside appearance, which she feels does not convey the true personality hidden insider her. She is very self-conscious about her name, whose mispronunciation by teachers and peers at school sounds very ugly to her ears. Esperanza was named after her great- grandmother, who was tricked into marriage and doomed to a life of sadness afterwards. Esperanza vows that she will not end up like the first Esperanza and so many women do- watching life pass by through the window. To break free from her name connotations, she wants to rename herself 'Zeze the X,' a choice she finds more reflective of her true self. As the new girl on the block, Esperanza observes many of life's most joyous and harsh realities while meeting her Mango Street neighbors. Her first friend, Cathy, is a short-lived friendship because Cathy's father soon moves the family away because the neighborhood is getting bad, or in other words becoming more inhabited by lower-class Latinos like Esperanza's family. Two other young sisters, however, adopt Esperanza into their circle when she chips in money to help them buy a bicycle. Lucy and Rachel help Esperanza ponder the wonders of growing up by inventing rhymes about hips and parading around Mango Street in high-heeled shoes. The tragedy which hits Esperanza the hardest though, is that of Sally. Her friend, who, like Esperanza only wanted to dream and share love, is first beaten by her father to prevent Sally ruining the family with her 'dangerous' beauty. To escape, Sally, though underage, marries a traveling salesman and the cycle of abuse continues. Enraged and saddened by her friend's tragedy, Esperanza vows to leave Mango street, become a writer, and build her dream home. Although Esperanza is constantly reaffirming that she wants to move away from Mango Street, we know by the end novel that she will one day return to help those who will not be so lucky as she. She realizes that Mango Street is home, no matter what.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    A reviewer

    The book 'House on Mango Street¿ was published in 1984 by Vintage Books right here in the United States. 'House on Mango Street' was a wonderfully creative story about Esperanza and her coming-of-age life in a mysterious world. The author, Sandra Cisneros, captures the reader¿s attention by using dramatic problems found in this troublesome neighborhood. This story had given readers a sense of what really happens in the areas people don't know about. The strange situations that Esperanza found herself in gave us some sense of reality that can happen everyday. Esperanza was a very adventurous girl that always dreamed of more. She was constantly moving from place to place and never had a real house to call home. In this new neighborhood, she discovered many intriguing people with unique personalities, but not all were that safe. One of these special personalities was a girl named Sally. It was with Sally that Esperanza found herself in the middle of a pickle. Sally, to be polite, is very curious. Her and Esperanza were hanging out with these boys. They had taken her keys and refused to give them back until she kissed them, but we all really know what really happened. Esperanza ran in fear because she was terrified of what may happen to her. A time similar to this happened when she went walking around in high heels. A bum had called her over and asked for a kiss. She and her friend fled in fear, but then again who wouldn't. Because of Esperanza's many encounters and numerous tales of danger, I grew more attached to this book. If it weren't for the end of the book, I probably would have never stop reading. This is a story worth reading because it really catches on and makes you want to keep reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2007

    A very dramatic book,,, Get ready!

    Esperanza finds herself emotionally ready to leave her neighborhood, however, she discovers that she will never fully be able to leave Mango Street behind, and that after she leaves she¿ll have to return to help the women she has left. At the end of the year, Esperanza remains on Mango Street, but she has matured extensively. She has a stronger desire to leave and understands that writing will help her put distance between herself and her situation. Though for now writing helps her escape only emotionally, in the future it may help her to escape physically as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2007

    the house on mango street

    i had a list of books to read for my summer assignment. i'm glad i stumbled on this one. it's not like the other reading assighnments, it's not about historic times and wars and stuff. it's got a good plot i could relate too. and it's short!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    For my English final project I had to pick a book from the AP approved literature list. I've read books like the Trial by Franz Kafka and other books that were a little on the dry side. It seemed like all the books on the list were of this dry nature. I eventually went to my English teacher and she pulled a bunch of books off the shelves in the library and put them on the table. I picked the shortest one because I was already a couple days behind everyone else. The House on Mango Street is the book I grabbed. Being a hispanic american I really enjoyed the cultural references but this truely is a coming of age novel. Any female reading this book can relate to similar experiences. I would definitly recommend this book. I found that I didnt short change myself by picking the shortest novel, in fact I probably picked the best novel for me that day. I agree that the language isnt all that complex, and it does have the style writing of a teenager but to me that is brilliance. It is hard for adults to capture the true thoughts of an adolescent being so far removed, its amazing that Cisnero was able to do so. Everything she did in this book is for a reason. Definitly a good short read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2007

    The House on Mango Street

    I remembered we had to read this for school and found it very interesting and realistic.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2007

    A freshmen required

    It has these little chapters called Vinettes that show how Esperanza grows up...It's a coming of age story to sum it up. I had to read it in my Language class and really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2007

    The House on Mango Street

    I read this last year in school over a vacation. At first, I didn't really like the layout of reading vignettes, but towards the end of the book, I fell in love with it. It shows the hardships faced by a young girl, and how she perservered and became a writer like she always wanted to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2007

    its ok

    it was ok because it was a different level of understanding. you have to be really into it to understand. i liked it because it tested my patience. if you stick to it you'll be writing positive comments like i am!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2007

    house on mango street

    People think that it is hard to read because each chapter is another story in this girls life. I think that people have trouble reading this is that they just don't get the meaning because it wouldn't be good if it was all fitting together being choppy is what makes it oringinal. I like that the author went out of what people consider the normal style of writing to be different and take a chance. I also like that she wrote a book that has meaning and makes you think, and she took a normal life of a hispanic girl in the ghetto and wrote a great story about it. So that is why I think you should buy this book as soon as possible so you can read something different and original.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2006

    Cisneros

    This book is well written and can be enjoyed by alot of people, especially those of you who enjoy poetry. In the book the main character is Esperanza a dreamer full of potential and has everything that can hold her back holding her back. The story is written in a number of vignettes (kind of like short stories). The word choice is very creative and, gets in Esperanza's head. I liked this book and would recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2006

    The House on Mango Street Review

    The House on Mango Street book was a very influential piece of writing that a Hispanic author wrote to reach out to the people that don¿t have all they want, and to enjoy what you do have, despite of everything that happens. This book is about a girl named Esperanza Cordero that hates the place that she lives in. Is never happy that she is actually living somewhere. When she knows that in Africa and South America their that would kill to live in a house like that or eat food like she is. What this story teaches us is to have fun and enjoy the time that we have to live while enduring economic struggles. Also not to kill your dreams by the way you live. As long as you have a very good education and a good mind set towards success. The way the author represents (Esperanza) the real-life situations like for instance, when she meets someone, or when she tells us about the people that she knows, and the imaginations that she thinks about. Like the time she thought about what would happen if her father were to die. Also she does have people that are against her in the story and still goes through life she¿s a smart girl. In their family there are five people including herself, and they share the same room and drink from the same cup, but the thinker of the family is Esperanza. She is herself but only bad thing in her is that she worries too much about the bad things that go on in the house on mango street. Even though she does tell herself that the house is holding her release her in the future to escape the stress she going through. She also had to understand the struggle and the sacrifices that her parents all had to go through to get that house and it cant be all about her, so she has to be happy. So she has to put her chin up and think big and not worry about nothing and be thankful for living there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2006

    the opression

    This book helped people realize how different types of people can 'live under the same roof' as some would say, but in Sandra Cisnero's style, it was more like in the same neighborhood. There were people that thought of women as dolls, people that wanted to leave, people that couldn't leave, people that didn't realize something was wrong and people that did. Esperanza: the main character was a girl who lived in a 'dangerous' neighborhood, also known as poor, but harmless. She was much different from everyone else around her, she wanted to be independant in a neighborhood when you speak when you are spoken to, and women were seen and not heard. It was a place where she beleived she didn't belong. Everyone in the book had their own little vignette and Esperanza would explain her relationship with them, or she would talk about her family or a tree or something symbolic.The House on Mango street is a great comming of age book that every thirteen year old should read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2006

    Cisneros

    The book is well written and simple. But you really get inside the main characters head you understand where she's coming from. The book is about a dreamer filled with potential but, but is held back by everything. I myself enjoy peotry and the style feels like poetry. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2006

    Applause for Cisneros

    Dedicated to the women, 'The House On Mango Street' by Sandra Cisneros is about a young girl named Esperanza. Esperanza dreams of having a house like they show on TV. She has moved a various amount of times but never before has she lived in a house her family owned. When her father said they were moving to their own house, on Mango St, Esperanza was aflame. She had dreamed of a big backyard, three bathrooms, a basement. A dream house. She then meets two girls named Lucy and Rachel. She helps them buy a bike and they quickly become best friends. Through a series of vignettes, Esperanza goes through enjoyable, dismal, and life changing times. In the last chapter of the book Esperanza makes a life changing decision, and fulfill's the promise she had made. I liked this book a lot. This would be a good read for middle school students & older. This book will make you appreciate the little things in life. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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