The House on Mango Street

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Here is Sandra Cisnero's greatly admired and best-selling novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children and their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics even as it depicts a new American landscape. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street ...
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Overview

Here is Sandra Cisnero's greatly admired and best-selling novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children and their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics even as it depicts a new American landscape. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong - not to her run-down neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become. The San Francisco Chronicle has called The House on Mango Street "marvelous... spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisnero's storytelling is evident. She communicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world." It is an extraordinary achievement that will live on for years to come.
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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375403828
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/18/1998
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 2 cassettes, 2 hrs. 30 min.
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago in 1954. Internationally acclaimed for her poetry and fiction, she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lannan Literary Award and the American Book Award, and of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacArthur Foundation. Cisneros is the author of two novels The House on Mango Street and Caramelo; a collection of short stories, Woman Hollering Creek; two books of poetry, My Wicked Ways and Loose Woman; and a children's book, Hairs/Pelitos. She is the founder of the Macondo Foundation, an association of writers united to serve underserved communities (www.macondofoundation.org), and is Writer in Residence at Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio. She lives in San Antonio, Texas. Find her online at www.sandracisneros.com.

Biography

Sandra Cisneros' first novel, The House on Mango Street, brought an entirely new voice to American literature, describing the experience of narrator Esperanza Cordero, a Mexican American girl living a hardscrabble existence in Chicago. As Bebe Moore Campbell put it, in the New York Times Book Review: "She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one."

The book bore the author's powerful descriptive talents: Comparing her house on Mango Street with the "real house" her parents had promised her, Esperanza notes, "The house on Mango street is not the way they told it at all. It's small and red with tight steps in front and windows so small you'd think they were holding their breath."

Cisneros, who grew up in Chicago as the only daughter in a family of seven children, attended college on scholarship and was an ethnic anomaly as a graduate student at University of Iowa's renowned Writers' Workshop. There is a lyric quality to Cisneros' work that makes sense, given her alternate life as a poet who has published several volumes of poetry (two, 1980's Bad Boys and 1985's The Rodrigo Poems, are no longer in print).

As a poet, Cisneros has a staccato, highly evocative style. From "A Few Items to Consider," for example: "First there is the scent of barley/to remember. Barley and rain./The smooth terrain to recollect and savor./Unforgiving whiteness of the room./Ambiguity of linen. Purity./Mute and still as photographs on the moon." Cisneros suffuses her poetry and fiction with healthy dose of Spanish and a feminine sensibility, female narrators who remember everything and for whom no detail or sensation is too small. Paragraphs are often punctuated by lists and five-word snapshots. As Cisneros herself has said, she is a miniaturist.

Her poetry and a 1991 collection of stories, Woman Hollering Creek, would have to tide fans over until the long-awaited release of her second novel, 2002's Caramelo. Like her first novel, the story is narrated by a Mexican-American girl; but the scope is a broader one, covering generations of a family as viewed through a cherished caramelo rebozo, or striped traditional shawl, which has been passed down through generations to the book's heroine.

Caramelo has a comical and occasionally unconventional spirit to it, as when one of the characters in the story breaks in to complain about how she is being portrayed. The novel began as an exploration of her own family, and the connection to Cisneros' own life is evident. Here as in other work, Cisneros fills in the gaps between Mexico and the U.S., personal myth and reality.

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    1. Hometown:
      San Antonio, Texas
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 20, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A., Loyola University, 1976; M.F.A., University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1978

Reading Group Guide

1. For discussion of the individual stories in THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET
“The House on Mango Street”
In describing her house, or where she lives, what does Esperanza convey about her self-identity? How is the description of her house different from other information about her and her family’s identity, such as a name, an occupation, or a physical description? Why might Cisneros have chosen to open the book with a description of Esperanza’s house?

2. “Hairs”
What binds a family together in The House on Mango Street?

3. “My Name”
What does Esperanza find shameful or burdensome about her name? Why might Cisneros have chosen this name for her protagonist?

4. “Cathy Queen of Cats”
Why is Cathy’s family about to move, and what does this mean to Esperanza?

5. “Our Good Day”
At this stage of her life, what are Esperanza’s friendships based on, and what do her friends mean to her? Does she fit in with an older or younger crowd, and how does she feel about her place in the social hierarchy?

6. “Laughter”
What common traits does Esperanza share with Nenny, and how does she distinguish herself from Nenny?

7. “Gil’s Furniture Bought & Sold”
What makes Esperanza want the music box, and why is she ashamed of wanting it? How does her reaction to the box differ from Nenny’s reaction, and what does this difference tell the reader about the difference between the two girls? As in “Hairs” and “Laughter,” how does Esperanza separate herself from her family?

8. “Meme Ortiz”
How do the residents of Mango Street interact with one another?

9. “Louie, His Cousin & His Other Cousin”
How do Esperanza’s vivid similes such as those in this story (“the nose of that yellow Cadillac was all pleated like an alligator’s” [p. 25]) or those in “Laughter” (“ice cream bells’ giggle” or laughter “like a pile of dishes breaking” [p. 17]) set the tone throughout the novel? As Esperanza matures, does her use of simile change?

10. “Marin”
Does Marin dream of sex, romance or love, or all three? What are her goals? How does Esperanza position herself vis-á-vis Marin, and what is her opinion of Marin? Can she identify with Marin, and how might Marin be or not be a role model for Esperanza?

11. “Those Who Don’t”
How does Esperanza’s view of herself compare to her perception of how others view her?

What is the picture of the neighborhood that Esperanza paints for the reader? Does this picture change the reader’s perception of the neighborhood from this point on in the book?

12. “There Was an Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didn’t Know What to Do”
Like “Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut & Papaya Juice on Tuesdays,” the title of this story is long and filled with detail. What do these and other titles in the book convey about the people and the life surrounding Esperanza? What kind of tone do these longer titles set for the story? What do they suggest about Esperanza’s character?

How are children regarded in Esperanza’s community?

13. “Alicia Who Sees Mice”
How has Esperanza’s relationships with Alicia changed since “Cathy Queen of Cats”?

How does Esperanza’s portrait of Alicia compare to her portrait of Marin? What do these portraits indicate about the differences between the two girls, and about Esperanza herself?

14. “Darius & the Clouds”
How does Esperanza keep her dreams alive? Does she hold any religious beliefs?

15. “And Some More”
What is the importance of names? How does Esperanza portray names in this story in comparison to her own name in “My Name”? How has her narrative voice changed from that earlier story?

16. “The Family of Little Feet”
To what degree is Esperanza aware of sex and sexuality? What does this indicate to the reader about her age?

17. “A Rice Sandwich”
What kind of person is Esperanza? What does the reader learn from this story about her strengths and weaknesses?

18. “Chanclas”
What stage in Esperanza’s life does this story capture, and how is this stage portrayed?

How has Esperanza’s voice changed from the previous stories “And Some More” and “The Family of Little Feet,” and in what ways is her voice still the same?

19. “Hips”
How does Esperanza distinguish herself from Nenny in this story? Does this distinction echo the one in “Gil’s Furniture Bought and Sold”?

How does Esperanza distinguish herself from the other girls she plays with, and has her relationship with them changed since the earlier stories such as “And Some More” or “Our Good Day”?

Has Esperanza’s comprehension of her own sexuality changed since “Marin,” and, if so, how?

20. “The First Job”
What range of emotions does Esperanza experience in this story, and how does Cisneros convey these emotions to the reader without naming them? How does Esperanza express her emotions in this story differently than those she experienced in “A Rice Sandwich” or “Chanclas” and, if so, why?

21. “Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark”
What is Esperanza’s relationship with her father?

How does this story develop Esperanza’s character?

22. “Born Bad”
What clues does this story provide about the roles of women and men in Esperanza’s community?

How does this story, like “Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark,” evidence Esperanza’s character development?

23. “Elenita, Cards, Palm, Water”
Does the superstition expressed in this story conflict or coexist with any religious beliefs Esperanza may hold? With what tone does Esperanza describe her visit to Elenita?

24. “Geraldo No Last Name”
What is the significance of this being the last story in the book in which Marin is mentioned?

25. “Edna’s Ruthie”
What does Esperanza learn from Ruthie’s experience that helps her formulate goals?

26. “The Earl of Tennessee”
What does Esperanza learn from Earl that might help her formulate goals?

27. “Sire”
How has Esperanza’s awareness of her own sexuality evolved from “Hips” to this story? How have her imagination and her desires moved away from her negative sexual experience in “My First Job”?

28. “Four Skinny Trees”
What do the trees symbolize? What does Esperanza impose of her own character on the trees, and what does she take from the trees?

How do the trees compare to the clouds in “Darius & the Clouds”?

29. “No Speak English”
What does Esperanza tell us about her community’s attitude towards non-Mexican Americans? What about the image that the non-Latinos have of the Latinos? How do these views help or hinder Esperanza in the formulation of her own personal identity?

30. “Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut & Papaya Juice on Tuesdays”
What conflicting needs or desires of Esperanza’s does her description of Rafaela’s situation convey?

32. “Sally”
Compare the portrait of Sally to that of Marin in “Marin.” How is Esperanza’s relationship with Sally different?

33. “Minerva Writes Poems”
With what tone is Esperanza’s plaintive “There is nothing I can do” conveyed? [p. 85]

34. “Bums in the Attic”
Why does Esperanza wish to house “bums” in her attic?

35. “Beautiful & Cruel”
Does Esperanza reconcile the images of herself as “ugly” [p. 88] and “beautiful and cruel,” and what does each self-image imply about her future?

36. “A Smart Cookie”
What does Esperanza learn from her mother in this story, and how might their relationship be characterized?

37. “What Sally Said”
With what tone does Esperanza convey the violence Sally suffers? How does this tone convey her attitude toward abuse? Has Esperanza’s attitude changed from the earlier stories? Compare Esperanza’s family’s response toward this abuse with how the community reacts toward domestic violence and abuse in general.

38. “The Monkey Garden”
What is the nature of Sally’s and Esperanza’s friendship?

Can Esperanza ever recover what she lost in the monkey garden?

What does the monkey garden symbolize?

39. “Red Clowns”
What does Esperanza lose in “Red Clowns,” and how does it compare to her loss in “The Monkey Garden”?

What clues does Cisneros provide the reader about the precise nature of the assault on Esperanza?

40. “Linoleum Roses”
How and why has Esperanza’s tone toward Sally changed?

41. “The Three Sisters”
In what way do the Sisters provide the decisive turning point for Esperanza?

How does Esperanza’s community fit into her vision of her own future?

42. “Alicia & I Talking on Edna’s Steps”
What is the significance of the fact that the only lasting friendship Esperanza seems to have is with Alicia?

43. “A House of My Own”
How does Esperanza’s dream house in this story and in “Bums in the Attic” differ from Sally’s dream house in “Linoleum Roses”?

How does Cisneros utilize the recurring image of a house as a metaphor to tie her stories together thematically and structurally? Is the house a positive or negative image? What does it alternatively preserve or imprison within its walls, and what does it keep out? How is Esperanza’s house on Mango Street alike or different from the other houses portrayed in the stories? [See, e.g., “Meme Ortiz”]

44. “Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes”
Why must Mango say goodbye to Esperanza, and not vice versa? Why is Mango Street personified as a “she”?

Might Esperanza’s view of her own name have changed at this point, and, if so, how might she describe it?

For discussion of THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET
1. From the beginning, Esperanza senses she does not want to end up inheriting her great-grandmother’s “place by the window . . . the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow” [“My Name” p. 11]. How does Esperanza emotionally and physically separate herself from the other women: Marin, Sally, Rafaela, Minerva, or Ruthie? Will her solution in “Beautiful & Cruel” [“I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate” p. 89] be an effective one? How is her self-esteem formed, and how does it evolve over the course of the novel? What obstacles will Esperanza have to overcome, and what battles will she have to fight as she carves a future for herself?

2. Can or should The House on Mango Street be categorized as a coming-of-age novel, or is it more complex than that?

3. How do the children who inhabit Mango Street become the men and women portrayed in the novel? For instance, what circumstances explain how the Vargas children, Meme Ortiz, the girls Esperanza plays with, and her own sisters grow into the adults of Mango street such as Esperanza’s parents, the husbands and fathers in the neighborhood, the young wives, and the older single adults such as Earl and Ruthie? Is the children’s fate inevitable? How does Esperanza set an example for how they can shape their own futures?

4. If you have some knowledge of the history of Chicanos in America–how they arrived here and their place in society, how does The House on Mango Street reflect this history? How is the Chicanos’ treatment in society–i.e., their systematic exclusion–alike or different from that of other minority groups?

5. Given that the narrator is a young female, how does Cisneros make Esperanza and her stories accessible to older and/or male readers? Does Esperanza’s youth affect her telling of the story and her reliability as a narrator? Is there a universal message about one’s identity that transcends Esperanza’s individual experience?

6. Cisneros’s prose has been described as “poetic”* and “lyrical.”** What characteristics of the stories made these critics choose these descriptive words? What other words might be used to describe the selections in The House on Mango Street and why? Are the selections in The House on Mango Street most aptly labeled (a) stories, (b) sketches, (c) vignettes, or (d) poems, and what characteristics make them one or the other? How does Cisneros make the collection of sketches or stories work together as a book structurally and thematically?

* “Voices of Sadness & Science” by Gary Soto, The Bloomsbury Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, July—August, 1988, p. 21.
** “In Search of Identity in Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street” by Maria Elena de Valdés, The Canadian Review of American Studies, Vol. 23, No. 1, Fall, 1992, pp. 55—72.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 538 )
Rating Distribution

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(144)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 538 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    8 out of 31 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.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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!

    7 out of 15 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 7 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.

    4 out of 6 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.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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

    3 out of 3 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.

    3 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.

    3 out of 6 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 4 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 8 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 October 10, 2013

    In the Story, ¿The House On Mango Street,¿ written by Sandra Cis

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2013

    Good

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    I hated this book. It was awful. I would not suggest this book t

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    Terrible

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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