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House on Mango Street

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Cisneros, Sandra(1984)
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House on Mango Street

Esperanza Cordero lives on Mango Street in Chicago. This novella is her coming of age story and a window into the Latino urban world. Esperanza, like most teens, has more questions and angst than answers. Her situation is also complicated by the poverty that is all around her. The short vignettes mirror the staccato rhythms of the city and introduce us to a multitude of characters. We meet Esperanza’s sister Nenny who seems to float through life, the barrio bad boy Tito, and most memorable, Sally, a victim of child abuse who uses her sexuality to escape from her father’s house. Not heavy on plot or character development, this book instead gives the reader verbal snapshots of the heartfelt moments of growing up in el barrio.

Reviewed by Mark B., Main Library

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Reader's comments about this book

I loved this book. It is so rich and so real. Sandra writes the book with such focus and tells it just how it is. I like how it has short chapters and at first is seems as if they don't connect, but in the end they combine to form a wonderful work of art.
-Eliza, Minneapolis, MN

I love this book too. When I was in 12th grade my teacher pushed me to read it and I really liked it.
-anonymous, Miami, Florida

It was a really tough read. I felt as if I was drowning in the subtext. After letting the book sit in the back of my mind for months, I am still haunted by the numerous vignettes.
-Randy James, Montana

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