The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street

3.6 546
by Sandra Cisneros

View All Available Formats & Editions


Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes…  See more details below



Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Esperanza Cordero, a girl coming of age in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, uses poems and stories to express thoughts and emotions about her oppressive environment.
Bebe Moore Campbell
Cisneros draws on her rich [Latino] heritage…and seduces with precise, spare prose, creat[ing] unforgettable characters we want to lift off the page. She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one.
The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
“A classic. . . . This little book has made a great space for itself on the shelf of American literature.” —Julia Alvarez
Afortunado! Lucky! Lucky the generation who grew up with Esperanza and The House on Mango Street. And lucky future readers. This funny, beautiful book will always be with us.” —Maxine Hong Kingston 
“Cisneros draws on her rich [Latino] heritage . . . and seduces with precise, spare prose, creat[ing] unforgettable characters we want to lift off the page. She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one.” —Bebe Moore Campbell, The New York Times Book Review
“Marvelous . . . spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisneros’s storytelling is evident. She communicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world.” —San Francisco Cronicle
“A deeply moving novel...delightful and poignant. . . . Like the best of poetry, it opens the windows of the heart without a wasted word.” —Miami Herald
“Sandra Cisneros is one of the most brillant of today’s young writers. Her work is sensitive, alert, nuanceful . . . rich with music and picture.” —Gwendolyn Books

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“A classic. . . . This little book has made a great space for itself on the shelf of American literature.”
—Julia Alvarez

Afortunado! Lucky! Lucky the generation who grew up with Esperanza and The House on Mango Street. And lucky future readers. This funny, beautiful book will always be with us.”
—Maxine Hong Kingston

"Cisneros draws on her rich [Latino] heritage...and seduces with precise, spare prose, creat[ing] unforgettable characters we want to lift off the page. She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one."
—Bebe Moore Campbell, The New York Times Book Review

"Marvelous...spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisneros's storytelling is evident. She communicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world."
San Francisco Cronicle

"A deeply moving novel...delightful and poignant.... Like the best of poetry, it opens the windows of the heart without a wasted word."
Miami Herald

"Sandra Cisneros is one of the most brillant of today's young writers. Her work is sensitive, alert, with music and picture."
—Gwendolyn Books

Gwendolyn Brooks
Sandra Cisneros is one of the most brilliant of today's young writers. Her work is sensitive, alert, nuanceful…rich with music and picture.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The House on Mango Street (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series) 3.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 546 reviews.
KDW679 More than 1 year ago
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.
aKacia_Tree More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
hoopsta33 More than 1 year ago
The House on Mango Street is about Esperanza, a Chicana Mexican-American girl, who is about twelve years old when the story begins. During the year, she moves with her family into a house on Mango Street. The house is a big differance from the family's previous apartment, and it is the first home her parents actually own. However, the house is not what Esperanza has dreamed of, because it is run-down and small. The house is in the center of a crowded Latino neighborhood in Chicago, a city where many of the poor areas are racially segregated. Esperanza does not have any privacy, and she tells herself frequently that she will someday leave Mango Street and have a house all her own. After moving to the house, Esperanza quickly meets Lucy and Rachel, two Chicana girls who stay across the street. Lucy, Rachel, Esperanza, and Esperanza's little sister, Nenny, have many adventures in the small space of their neighborhood. They buy a bike, learn about boys from a young woman named Marin and they explore a junk shop, and have intimate conversations while playing Double Dutch. The girls are on the brink of puberty and sometimes find themselves vulnerable sexually, such as when they walk around their neighborhood in shoes that are for older women or when Esperanza is kissed by an older man at her first job. During the first half of the year, the girls are content to live and play in their child's world. At school, Esperanza feels ashamed about her family's poverty and her difficult-to-pronounce her name. She secretly writes poems that she shares only with older women she trusts. Over the summer, Esperanza slips into puberty. She suddenly likes it when boys watch her dance, and she enjoys dreaming about them. Esperanza's newfound sexual maturity, combined with the death of two of her family members, her grandfather and her Aunt Lupe, bring her closer to the world of adults. She begins to closely watch the women in her neighborhood. This second half of The House on Mango Street presents a string of stories about older women in the neighborhood, all of whom are even more stuck in their situations and, quite literally, in their houses, than Esperanza is. Meanwhile, during the beginning of the following school year, Esperanza befriends Sally, a girl her age who is more sexually mature than Lucy or Rachel. Sally, meanwhile, has her own agenda. She uses boys and men as an escape route from her abusive father. Esperanza is not completely comfortable with Sally's sexual experience, and their friendship results in a crisis when Sally leaves Esperanza alone, and a group of boys sexually assaults Esperanza in her absence. Esperanza's bad experiences as Sally's friend, and her detailed observations of the older women in her neighborhood, create her desire to escape Mango Street and to have her own house. When 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 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. In conclusion, I would recommend this book about a young strong chicana girl.
BarbaraPA More than 1 year ago
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.
M.E More than 1 year ago
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.

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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is quite possibly one of the worst books that i have ever read. There is no linear thought in this horrible novel. I would not reccomend this book to anyone.
stephaniemelendez More than 1 year ago
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.
orangeeblaste More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kiwi2600 More than 1 year ago
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.

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.¿

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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the Story, “The House On Mango Street,” written by Sandra Cisneros, you follow a girl named Esperanza through a series of mini stories about her family, neighborhood, dreams, and friends. Esperanza moves around a lot growing up so when they move to a small  house on Mango Street in a very poor neighborhood,  it wasn't a surprise. She makes friends, develops her first crush, endures sexual  assault, begins to write as a way of expressing herself as a way to escape the neighborhood, and is forced to grow up very quickly.  Even when she moves away, Mango Street and it’s memories that haunt her will never leave. I feel the plot was very well developed and played out smoothly. Each story showed Esperanza's character develop and mature. She learned and took example from the things around her and the elders she looked up to. Although there were many different themes to this novel, I feel the most important one is if you dream of something and work your hardest for it, you don't need anyone else to achieve it. Esperanza wanted so badly to  be more than that poor child that lives on that horrible street. I feel the story would have been better if it was one whole story line instead of choppy stories that often did not relate or tie in together. In the story there were many characters that differed from each  other. They all well represented the kind of people in this kind of environment. They all influenced Esperanza in some way and taught  her things. Some of these characters were obviously not very kind hearted people which really shows the reality of our society. Overall, I think this book is very engaging and impressive. It shows the life of a little girl who goes through very tough times and is  taught very important lessons.                                                                                 By Marissa B.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Had forgotten about this, until I saw someone reading this for school. Then I started remembering a little bit of this, mostly for the cover. Had read this for school and sort of remember what it was about. Sort of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hated this book. It was awful. I would not suggest this book to anyone. It didn't make sense and it was NOT written well. I would suggest books like Life of Pi or Star Girl. This was one of the worst books I've ever read and unfortunately I've read Twilight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love her straight forward approach. Also I can relate to her experiences
MaureenAlf1-_ More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The House on Mango Street is a book that will have you interested throughout the story. The book is about a girl named Esperanza, she tells multiple stories of people she meets on Mango Street. The stories she tells are mostly stories about her experiences on Mango Street and this is the only place she would like to tell stories about. Of all the people she meets she finds a story to tell about each and every person she sees or lives around. The neighborhood of Mango Street is a Latino environment that suits Esperanza’s heritage and community. Everyone that she meets throughout Mango Street is Latinos and they all are struggling with reality as well. Esperanza’s house on Mango Street is her family’s first house they have ever owned since she was little but she always thought her first house would always be better and much bigger. She starts to get her hopes and dreams up about having a house of her own and throughout the book she will remind you constantly of her dreams. She never gives up in the book even through the worst experiences; she just writes and writes to feel free. There are a couple of stories in the book that caught my attention like on page 28, “Those Who Don’t.” This short story gives you a little about the neighborhood she is living in on Mango Street. She tells the readers about the people who come into our neighborhood who is scared to even have noticed they have gotten lost in the Latino part of Chicago. She states that she knows everyone very well in her neighborhood but the people who are lost don’t know anyone and they think ‘were going to attack them with shiny knives.’ She says ‘were all brown all around, we are safe’ stating that everyone in her neighborhood are the same color and don’t have to worry about any one coming into their neighborhood making them feel uncomfortable. It’s funny how she is using a vice versa statement saying that if she were to go into a neighborhood full of other nationalities she would be scared also because she would be the only brown person in their neighborhood. One short story I absolutely love is on page 74 and it is called ‘Four Skinny Trees.’ The reason why I love this short story is because she compares herself to the four skinny trees outside. She believe they are the only ones in the story who understand, she says this because these are trees that were planted there by the city but do not want to be there. In her comparison she believes she’s only here because she has to be here but in the back of her mind she doesn’t want to be on Mango Street at all. She compares the trees are holding onto Mango Street with their ‘ferocious roots’ and she feels the same way, she feels like she’s just been planted onto Mango Street and can’t grow or live because she’s stuck there and even if she left she will always remember Mango Street. She will always remember where she got stuck and planted and she will always have to return because that’s where she grew up and she felt as if the four skinny trees were just like her. The House on Mango Street is a book I really enjoyed; I can’t deny that it’s not a good book because it caught my attention all around. The book itself has a lot of culture and creativity to it, it has a bit of excitement and stories that will just make you smile. I believe this is one of my favorite books because it relates to real people in the world, I can imagine at least one or two people in the book who remind me of someone in real life. In my opinion this book is a keeper and a book to pass on to your kids when they are old enough to understand what is going on in the real world. A lot could have been taught with this one book, being a teen, poverty, sexual assault, admirers, and growing up. It teaches you the difference of people all around the world and that is one thing that is so stunning about the book.
JMorrell More than 1 year ago
"The House on Mango Street" Review There is nothing wrong with this book. It is well developed, as interesting characters and you it is a very small book (which can be good or bad). This story has very short chapters, some even a page long. But because the chapters are so short the story is always introducing you to new characters and keeping you pretty well entertained. This book is definitely not an action filled book. Actually most of the time you are just reading about friends a certain character in the book makes. This book does however show you what life is like for some people (that is if you have never lived in a very poor and Hispanic filled neighborhood). After reading this book you do feel like you learned something new about a part of peoples lives that you might not have particularly known about. If you are looking for something different to read, something maybe informative, and something that’s not exactly too exciting that I would recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was required to read this book in eighth grade. Some content might have been slightly inappropriate for that age; however, the writing style the author used, along with the plot of this novella, are unforgettable. I absolutely love this book. Hopefully, I will be buying my own copy soon.
Your-Brah More than 1 year ago
I read this book for my English class this term because I was required to read a text on the AP reading level. I have heard that this book is very well written and a good read. But after reading it for myself, I think otherwise. I think what Sandra Cisneros, the author, is trying to portray in this novel is the struggles of life; but more in depth, the challenges of a girl from a poor family that knows that later in life, she can be in a better economic position than where she is now. The chapters in this book are very short, and so is the book itself. This book was very hard to understand for me personally so it is a more difficult book to read. Some of the chapters in this book are not even needed in the story. They are just there and make no sense and aren't even relevant to the message that I believe the story is trying to portray. The main character in this story, named Esperanza, is a young girl from a large Latino family living in a rundown part of Chicago, Illinois. The family has moved around for some time and has now moved to Mango Street. Many different things happen on Mango Street, but it's not to Esperanza's liking. She wants a big house of her own on a hillside. Because rich people, in her vision, live on large hillsides. She reminds me of those people that grow up in horrible conditions or predicaments but defy all the odds placed against them and they succeed when everyone thought it was impossible for them. Esperanza shows incredible amounts of human potential and is most definitely going to use it to better her life. But the way Sandra Cisneros uses her words to write the story is extremely difficult to understand. One of the reasons the text is so hard to understand is because she has different parts of the story all in different places in the book so the story doesn't flow very well as far as a timeline would go. I was also reading this book with my friend that is the same age as I and he thought the same way about the book as I did. If you don't have a large amount of time for reading and you are looking for a good little book to read, I do not recommend this book to you (or anyone else). This book has no exciting parts to it at all! The ending to this book does not sum up the story very well and just like the whole story, the ending is vague and hard to understand, not to mention boring as well. Honestly, I have no idea why this book would be on the AP reading level or how this book even gets sold! This book reminds me of abstract art. Some of that style of art sells for millions of dollars even though it looks like a baby created it, or it was a mistake. The book is unorganized, slow, and difficult to comprehend and read. If you're considering reading or buying this book it would not be the wisest decision you've ever made no matter who you are.
ally12 More than 1 year ago
"The House on Mango Street" was a book about a young girl named Esperanza who constantly moved around. "We didn't always live on Mango Street...Before that we lived on Keeler...Before Keeler it was Paulina, and before that I can't remember...But what i remember most is moving a lot". The story took place when her and her family moved too a Latino area in Chicago. This book is written as if it were the diary of Esperanza because each chapter was just a quick story of something that happend, and it never really went into that much detail. The the story is about Esperanza wanting to make a good life for herself, better than the people who lived near by her in Chicago. Esperanza's mother told her, "I could've been somebody, you know? ... Esperanza, you go to school. Study hard". She wants to listen to her mother and learn from her mistake of not finishing school and make a good life for herself. The book consists of many events that happend told threw the eyes of Esperanza. It was hard to follow because it was jumpy at times. I did not like the way that the author wrote the book. The punctuation and wording of the book made it difficult to understand at some points. It was a slow read at first but once you get past the begining its an ok book.
iswa_bwilkens More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.
iswa_aglassmyer More than 1 year ago
The House on Mango Street proved to be a tale of a young girl striving for a better life. Esperanza, a naïve Latino girl, lives with her family in a destitute community of people who have been held back by their lack of prosperity and background. She has never felt she belonged there and believes she can be something more. As she observes the lives those around her, examples of a prolonged, miserable existence, her caring heart goes out to them, wanting more not only for herself, but for the people of Mango Street.

Throughout the novel, the writer, Sandra Cisneros, conveys the entrapment of the people around Esperanza, particularly the women. The book points out certain characters who, each with their own obstacles to overcome, represent who Esperanza could become. A woman with children and a husband who left them penniless, a teenage girl who plans to run away and get married, just to get away from that place, a young wife locked indoors because of her husband¿s fears, all of which represent a life Esperanza could someday lead.

Her true rival, Mango Street, and all that it represents has captured the people and they now become the voice of Mango; the voice of the enemy. But Esperanza deeply desires to go away, to excel in her writing career and provide for herself. Her immaturity does not shield her from the effects of Mango Street, but rather pulls her into situations where she experiences it far more personally.

As for the novel itself, it is a quick read and fairly easy to understand. Cisneros writes in an unusual form, and the true meaning of the book is not always clearly conveyed. Upon further pondering, the deeper intentions of the book are pretty apparent. It is written in first person, Esperanza being the one speaking, and if you focus on the fact that it is the voice of a silly young girl, the writing will seem less discounted. The novel is definitely not one meant to be read then forgotten, but thought about and carefully considered for the deeper implications.

The conclusion of the novel was quite strong, with just the right amount of closure as well as curiosity about how Esperanza¿s life turns out. While the reader hopes for the best for this young girl, the sad truth is that despite her dreams and aspirations, and regardless of the sense of disconnection she feels from the place, it may become more of a part of her than she had ever intended. All that said, I would not necessarily recommend the book, but reading it might prove as a necessary stretch of the mind if placed in the right hands.