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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street (original 1984; edition 1991)

by Sandra Cisneros

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5,649129755 (3.62)128
Title:The House on Mango Street
Authors:Sandra Cisneros (Author)
Info:Vintage Contemporaries (1991), Paperback, 110 pages
Collections:Your library, Illinois library

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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (1984)



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Read years ago when I was in college getting my BS in Elementary Education. What an eye-opener for this middle-America middle-class young white woman! Lovely & intense as I recall.

Reread Jan. 2013. Not sure which edition to choose, as mine was not the 25h anniversary edition which logo shows on all these. Only mentioning that because there may be additional content (in the anniversary edition) that I did not see.

It is as magical as I remembered. So refreshing to read prose that reads like poetry, as lately it's been a fashion to write YA in verse form, even when the author isn't a poet. That is to say, breaking prose into lines of similar length so it looks like a poem doesn't do it. Cisneros knows this, and just writes with metaphor and melody and authenticity, so the book is poetic without being overtly so.

I like that these vignettes reveal lots of different characters and kinds of events - it's not just about one girl, but about the whole community and even, it could be argued, a large part of the Hispanic immigrant experience. I do see a resemblance to my current immigrant neighbors here in CC NV - especially, unfortunately, the sexism, the precocious girls replacing the trap of their fathers' houses for the trap of their husbands'. But it's not actually a sad book, because we know that the strongest children will find a way up and out:

"Four skinny trees with skinny necks and pointy elbows like mine. Four who do not belong here but are here.... Their strength is secret. They send ferocious roots beneath the ground. They grow up and they grow down and grab the earth between their hairy toes and bite the sky with violent teeth and never quit their anger."

"A House of My Own. Not a flat. Not an apartment in back. Not a man's house. Not a daddy's.... Only a house quiet as snow, a space for myself to go, clean as paper before the poem."

I think it's much like [a:Julia Alvarez|7277|Julia Alvarez|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1220651344p2/7277.jpg]'s [b:The Woman I Kept to Myself|83972|The Woman I Kept to Myself|Julia Alvarez|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1171047987s/83972.jpg|81069]

Btw. the rape scene only mentions forcible kissing. If a reader is sophisticated enough to realize that it's actual rape that is being referred to, that reader can handle it. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This novel is in the realistic fiction genre. In The House on Mango Street we are reading about a year in the life of Esperanza who is a Mexican-American girl. She and her family just moved to Mango Street and she though that it would be much different than the life she actually gets on Mango Street. In this book she endures growing up in an area where she was sexually assaulted, kissed by a stranger and many horrible things were said to her. This novel is the way she escapes from Mango Street and deals with what she has gone through. However, once she leaves she knows that she will have to return to help the other girls. She also realizes that she will never be able to fully leave Mango Street behind.
  kbuffum13 | Apr 14, 2015 |

The House on Mango Street

3 stars


Told in the voice of a child, this coming of age story, with a series of vignettes describes Esperanza Cordero's life on Mango Street. Some of her experiences were touching. Some of the stories took me back to a time and place when similar situations happened to me. Not a great read but an ok read. ( )
  Feleciak | Apr 2, 2015 |
Just didn't connect with this one. I forget why I even had it in my collection. Stopped 1/2 way through the book ( )
  nancynova | Nov 13, 2014 |
The House on Mango Street delves into the mind of Esperanza who doesn't like her name or the house she lives in. It shows the inner struggles of a young girl and her neighborhood surroundings. Many people around the world desire more and therefore can relate to the main character. ( )
  Taneekabdasilva | Nov 4, 2014 |
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A las Mujeres
(To the Women)
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We didn't alway live on Mango Street.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
[R.L. 4.5]
Told in a series of vibrant vignettes, this is the story of Esperanza Cordera, a girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, in a neighborhood that is neither pretty nor easy. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, this is a moving story of a young girl attempting to rise above the hopelessness around her.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679734775, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:40 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

For Esperanza, a young girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, life is an endless landscape of concrete and run-down tenements, and she tries to rise above the hopelessness.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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