The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street

Book - 1994 | 1st hardcover ed
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In celebration of the tenth anniversary of its initial publication, and with a new introduction by the author, 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.
Publisher: New York : A.A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1994
Edition: 1st hardcover ed
ISBN: 9780679433354
Call Number: FICTION CISNEROS 1994
Characteristics: xx, 134 pages ; 18 cm


From Library Staff

2005 Everybody Reads

Vignettes tell the story of a young Latina growing up in Chicago and discovering who she wants to be. 110 pages

Short vignettes and poetic language about a young Latina growing up in Chicago who

learns how to define for herself who she wants to be, what she wants to be known for.

Vignettes tell the story of a young Latina growing up in Chicago and discovering who she wants to be. 110 pages

From the critics

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Mar 28, 2021

Considered a classic a Chicano literature, these vignettes seem like a young adult book.

Mar 19, 2021

Modern Mrs Darcy

Feb 21, 2021

The House on Mango Street is a novel based on a year of the life of Esperanza, a 12-year-old Mexican-American girl. Her family moves into a house on Mango Street, which is much bigger and luxurious than their previous apartment. However, it is still small and worn out, so Esperanza is not impressed. As Esperanza hits puberty, she starts thinking different thoughts, such as she likes how boys watch her dance and how she dreams about them sometimes. This book brilliantly describes a girl’s journey to adulthood and covers other issues such as poverty and racism.

Jan 14, 2021

Sandra Cisneros’s coming of age novel, The House on Mango Street is a very realistic and relatable novel. A Hispanic girl named Esperanza faces the challenges of growing up and maturing, along with other hardships such as losing a loved one. I like that Cisneros uses many literary devices to convey meaningful messages, and I also like that I could relate to Esperanza and her feelings. I would definitely recommend this book to teenagers because I feel that many of them would be able to resonate with some of the experiences and instances Esperanza goes through in the book.

Jan 03, 2021

Many people have heard about The House on Mango Street. It's no surprise why: it is a winner of the American Book Award, it has sold over six million copies, and it is pretty much a required reading in high school. With this being the case, you must be thinking, “Wow, this has got to be an outstanding piece of literature!” But in my opinion, I genuinely feel like this is one of the worst books I’ve read. The book is about a 12-year-old Latina girl named Esperanza. She and her family have just moved to a Hispanic quarter of Chicago, and the book takes us through the life of the introverted Esperanza. It is formatted through a literary style known as vignettes, which are very short descriptive passages. Aside from those things, the rest of the novel is terrible, and that's because of the writing style. The vignettes and stories are simply just too fragmented. Characters appear and disappear, things happen for no apparent reason. It is just so random. And not to mention that the main character herself is insipid and is just a blank slate. In my opinion, the author was trying to sound too deep and poetic and veered away from actually writing an engaging story. It takes an insane level of reading comprehension to appreciate this novel, and so because of that I earnestly think this is not a worthwhile read. You’ll probably end up reading this book in your high school English class anyways.

Oct 31, 2020

The House on Mango Street is a very well known book that many people have read. The book is made up of a series of vignettes. The main character is Esperanza, who is a young Chicana girl living in Mango Street. In the beginning, Esperanza and her family move into a new house. But it is not like what her parents told her it would be like. It is small, rundown, and old. As the story progresses, Esperanza experiences many new things and learns important lessons. She also learns about who she is, and what defines her. In the beginning, she thinks that her name and where she lives defines who she is. In the end, she gets a better idea/understanding of who she really is. I like this novel because it shows many important lessons in life that everyone should know about.

Age rating: 11+
Star rating: 4.5

Jul 13, 2020

What a beautiful look into the life of a Latina girl growing up in Chicago 40 plus years ago. The vignettes are short, but powerful. We get just enough of a glimpse into each of these moments of Esperanza's life to understand what and who she is talking about, and the emotions associated with it. I finished this short book wanting so much more- and I think that was the point. This was just a taste, a slice of Esperanza's life, the important memories she had growing up on Mango Street. It's a nostalgic, hauntingly atmospheric little book that everyone should read.

debwalker Jan 28, 2020

"I write because the world we live in is a house on fire, and the people we love are burning."

ArapahoeLaura Feb 07, 2018

Beautiful poetry about growing up Hispanic in Urban Chicago.

A story told in vignettes and language that is poetic. This book captures moments from young Esperanza's life, and her neighborhood on Mango Street. Some stories are hopeful and full of joy, while other stories are devastating. The language is poetic, and chapters short. Each chapter provides the reader with a peak into Esperanza's life on Mango Street. A classic!

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Add a Summary
orange_turtle_200 Jul 15, 2014

The House on Mango Street shows the life of Esperanza a girl who tells the story of her life from different angles. When her family moves to a house on Mango Street, Esperanza wants and hopes for a better house without realizing how great her house is, despite all of the different subjects that come up, such as segregation, a run-down neighborhood, and being poor. Past all of that she has a family that loves her and a house to stay in which is half of what some people have in her neighborhood

Ripa33 Jun 06, 2013

The House on Mango Street is a year in the life of Esperanza, a Chicana who is about twelve years old when the novel begins. During the year, she moves with her family into a house on Mango Street. The house is a huge improvement 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 resolves that she will someday leave Mango Street and have a house all her own.

Oct 18, 2012

This book is about a strong willed mexican girl, named Esperanza, who lives in the Hispanic district of Chicago. It is vignettes of her life living in her tiny house on Mango Street. Esperanza is slowly finding out who she is throughout the book. She wants to break free of her bubble she is in; move somewhere else and have power. She is only a young girl with a dream of finding a better life.


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