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The House on Mango Street

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  67,244 ratings  ·  4,743 reviews
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
Paperback, 25th Anniversary Edition, 110 pages
Published April 3rd 1991 by Vintage (first published 1984)
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Steve Sckenda
"I like to tell stories. I tell them inside my head. I am going to tell you a story about a girl who didn’t want to belong."(109)

Where is home? Is your home the people who love you, or is your home a physical space where you are most free? This is the story of a woman who builds her own home in her head until she is able to escape and build a house of her own.

Sandra Cisneros has written 46 vignettes that form a story about the life of a Mexican-American girl in Chicago in the sixties. Cisneros

It’s a little after 2am. I’m having the dreams.

The ones that blindside me and have that weird echo --- is or isn’t this real? Sleep isn’t going to happen. What’s new. I leave my room to check out the house. Doors locked? Check. Kids asleep? Check…whoa, hold up a minute. Em is awake. She’s sitting in the living room illuminated by a booklite. She’s got about 4 blankets piled on top of her and she’s….. reading. Reading? I’m used to the insomnia, on both our parts… we knock around each other, say
(Original pub date: 1984)
This is another one of those "reading list classics" that I figured I should try. Especially since it's really short! ;) The book consists entirely of vignettes from the author's childhood in a poor section of Chicago. The writing is beautiful and spare - no vignette is longer that 2 or 3 pages (and the font is huge and widely spaced). It reads like poetry, really - the words are potent and evocative rather than exhaustively descriptive.

My reading of this book actually h
The description on goodreads describes this as a novel. It is not a novel. It isn't a collection of stories either. The word is "vignette"--snapshots of significant moments, people, in young Esperanza's day-to-day life, sprinkled with her understanding that she will leave this House on Mango Street, and the Houses not on Mango Street that could be on Mango Street, and write, but that Mango Street will never leave her. There is no central plot line or conflict. Some characters go as quick as we m ...more
"I make a story for my life, for each step my brown shoe takes."

Have you been ashamed? Did you get that abortion? Did you ever lie and cheat because truth seemed too expensive? Have you been that man who can't find a job? Did someone ever grab you all on a sudden and inhaled your life away? Did you leave college & have your heart broken? I ask you again, Have you been ashamed?

If yes, then this book is YOU.

Esperanza Cordero, a Mexican-American girl presumably 13, lives in a red house at 4006
I had the opportunity to meet Sandra in one of her book readings and I was so overcome with emotions I was part babbling, part crying and part laughing with joy. I had to thank her because there was finally someone in the literary world that understood me and was able to tell stories that were similar to mine growing up as a Mexican in Chicago. I adore this book because I finally felt like I wasn't alone! I've seen so many stereotypes of hispanic people and I never felt like I identified with an ...more
She is a good poet who penned a mediocre "novel." I tell you, it is on the slim side of a novella. Physically, the book is short (maybe 5/7 the height of a standard paperbook), 12 point font, double-spaced, 134 pages long with 44 chapters and each one is set apart with its own half page. Oh, and the content? Just what you'd expect. Why, I bet Cisneros spent a whole afternoon writing what you could read in an afternoon.
The House on Mango Street is deceptively simple. And considering that is used for all sorts of ends within a wide range of English literature classrooms (I, myself, have used it at the 7th and 11th grades, as well as studied it at college and grad school), it is beautifully malleable. But despite its many "uses," ultimately this is a book about a girl who resists oppression and finds her voice. It deserves to be not only enjoyed for its rhythm and poetry, its humor and imagery, but studied for i ...more
Rose Ann
I did not care for the style of writing...each small chapter(1.5-2 pgs.)(vignette), is a snippet of what life is like on Mango Street for Esperanza. Tbe idea of these snippets (vignettes) is great, but they never kept my attention or painted a vivid picture for me.
It is not a continuous plot, that keeps you hanging. I'm not used to this style, so it really didnt "grab" me.
I was hoping that throughout the book I would connect with the character or "feel" something...I never did.
I was not impresse
"that Guy"
May 27, 2008 "that Guy" rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy really wierd book
Recommended to "that by: My spanish teacher
This was without a doubt one of the worst books I have EVER read. Now, before I go any further, I would like to say that when I read this book, I read it in Spanish. Because Spanish is not my first language, this created some difficulties understanding the material.

With that said, it was still a bad book. There was no actual plot, because this story was a biography of the author. In other words, if you swap out a few key names, it will be the story of the writer's life. In other words, the writ
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 09, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
I found the introduction filled with unintended ironies. Cisneros said she wanted to write a book that you could turn to any page and find it accessible. For one thing, she said she was "abandoning quotation marks to streamline the typography and make the page as simple and readable as possible." Really? Personally, as far as I'm concerned, punctuation marks are our friends. Quotation marks in the most economical way signal that we are reading a conversation, and through conventions such as alte ...more
I've read this book twice. The first was by myself a few years ago, around fifth grade. That wasn't the right time to read it, because I couldn't appreciate the beauty and simplicity in Sandra Cisnero's writing.
This year, we read most of "The House on Mango Street" in English with my amazing teacher Mrs. Rudin. Before reading it, however, we read a poem (or incredibly short story - it was a page) by S.C. first, to get a sense of her writing. It was incredibly beautiful, about a boy. There is
I'm not latino, but I grew up poor. I was lucky enough that my mom tried her best to keep us from being super aware of this fact. We got free lunch and sometimes she pretended she'd already eaten dinner, and our house was infested with cockroaches and didn't have enough insulation to keep warm in a Florida winter, and I could never go on any fieldtrip that cost money, but I didn't feel inferior to other people. Reading that whole list, I realize that I was independently a fairly innocent, blinde ...more
The House on Mango Street to many people was viewed as this excellent book. People though it was appealing that there was an unreliable narrator and that they need to assume or figure out what the true meaning was. To me this kind of book does not appeal at all to me.
It is about a young girl growing up in a sort of Hispanic ghetto area and having to deal with the challenges of life. Although she is nothing but an average girl, in the book not so average and very disturbing, sad things happen.
I do not know how to rate this. It reminds me of my mother. I am not sure I can separate it from my mom and rate it fairly. I wish my mother was more of a reader though. I think she would like this.
This slim jewel of a book establishes Ms. Cisneros as a major female Latin American writer in the U.S. The reader gains insight into the thoughts and lives of the people in Mango Street, vignette by vignette. The central character is Esperanza, a 12-year-old Mexican-American or chicana who deals with growing pains along with the pains of moving to a new house in a predominantly Latino neighborhood. Cisneros deftly lures the reader into the story with her masterful use of her chosen literary devi ...more
Nov 14, 2008 miaaa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to miaaa by: Prima Rusdi, Icha & Vashti
Shelves: fictions-others
Let me tell you one story my dear fellow readers. A story about a young girl who is able to portray her life as an immigrant in the most simple way. It's not an easy life I assume but the way she portrays it in simple descrptions cause a havoc in my brain. Born as a girl in the society where strong women are not acceptable, she inherites her great-grandmother's name but she refuses to inherite the defeat her great-grandmother had suffered. She's young, so are her little sister and her two young ...more
الرواية نصوص قصيرة عن فتاة مكسيكية لديها الكثير لتحكيه عن حياتها في شارع مانجو
البيت والعائلة, الأصدقاء والجيران, لحظات الفرح والحزن
الرواية كأنها ألبوم للصور في كل صورة لقطة من لقطات حياتها
This is my all time favorite--it's short and poignant. You can read it quickly for sheer enjoyment (it reads poetically) or you can dig your heels in and really take note of Latino culture. In all reality though, one of the reasons I love it so much is that it doesn't only discuss Latino culture but middle and lower class America. And Cisneros alsos really brings out slippery domestic issues women face everywhere. It's sweet, it's sad, It's a bit scary and funny--IT'S 100 pages or so of WONDERFU ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Lillie rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Noone, don't turtur yourself.
Recommended to Lillie by: My school made me read it.
My school made me read this book, I would otherwise not have gotten past the first page, it was so boring. I would call it a circular story but for the fact that it never goes anywhere in the process of getting back to where it started. The book sounds like Cisneros wrote what was published as it came to her(and I mean in order), and never looked back to edit; it is filled with little segments that could have made a great back ground for a story if used as such instead of focused on. The first h ...more
Told from Esperanza’s point of view, The House on Mango Street is a series of short vignettes about Esperanza’s feelings and experiences living in a section of Chicago. From her youthful perspective (a young Latina girl living in this section of a big city), she laments on hopes and dreams and her place in the world, and tells of observations about those close to her.

While the vignettes in The House on Mango Street have some perspective, I thought many of them were a bit overblown with flowery
On Mango Street, you can buy a best friend for five dollars; two best friends if there's a sale. This might sound like an elementary school con-game (I raised a suspicious eyebrow) but young Esperanza found nothing to complain about. Turns out she bought into a one-third stake in a bicycle and essentially got the friends for free. Quality companionship can come cheap if you don't mind that the companions smell like brooms.

So come on down to Mango Street. It's crumbling cityscape might defy the t
I found this collection of "vignettes," as Cisneros calls them, to be quite beautiful and touching. The writing here is very simplistic, but eloquent and strong. The stories are told through the perspective of a young girl, around 10-12 years old, I estimate. It's been refreshing to hear anecdotes told from a perspective that is both innocent and wise. Rarely do I tap into my 12 year old mind, but reading these stories has allowed me to connect with a part of myself that I've worked so diligentl ...more
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What are you guys talking about? Did anyone notice her style of writing made it seem so illitarate. We forgot to put punctuation marks where necessary. I got lost as to what she was talking about. What bothered me most was she has a MASTERS... A freak MASTERS degree! 2, the hispanic heritage she made Hispanics estupido...What are you guys talking about? Did anyone read this book? It was hard for me to read because I wanted to edit more than read. 3. How can you have a curriculum on this book to ...more
Chris Friend
Aug 04, 2009 Chris Friend rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Social workers who need a good hard-luck case to inspire them.
Recommended to Chris by: FLVS English II, and I'll never forgive it for that.
What a horrible, wretched waste of time and paper.

If you want to feel better about yourself, knowing that you can properly use punctuation and sentence structure, read this book. You'll see that someone else who can't can still get published.

If you want to feel better about yourself, thinking of the pleasantries of the simple things in life, read this book. You'll see plenty of characters who don't have them, and you can compare yourself to them and feel vain.

If you want to feel better about you
I huh-8ed this book, I'm sorry to say. In fact, my reaction was so negative that there must be something much DEEPER or shrinkable going on.

My book club's reading it and somebody lent me the CDs to listen to. Cisneros's voice is sing-song babytalk and she works it. It was so sweetsy and cloying that I couldn't listen longer than a few minutes, and not every day.

The book must've been a revelation in its day, describing the lives of Mexican immigrants in such a magical,naive and poetic way. To me,
Firstly, I should say that I had to read this book primarily because of the fact that it was a requirement for my summer reading project. Secondly, I'm not a very big fan of this book.

Granted the prose that this book is written in is different and almost refreshing in a way however, at times it was confusing for me to follow. I didn't feel like the story flowed very well, because it went from talking about one person/feeling to another thing that in most cases did not correlate with the previous
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This book is GREAT ! This book is about a Mexican Girl named Esperanza. She is mexian american. She lives on a house on mango street. Basically Esperanza goes through stuff every teenage girl probably would go through. Shewnt through stuff like puberty, Making friends and more.

Theres one thing that happens to Esperanza that could change any teenager's life forever. At twelve esperanza was molested. Esperanza felt alone and sad. She felt like she didn't belong in this world.

I would rate this book
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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 ...more
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