Jessica Kennedy's Reviews > A Mango-Shaped Space

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
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's review
Jul 26, 11

bookshelves: synesthesia, disability, fiction, juvenile-fiction, middle-grade
Read from July 24 to 25, 2011

Mia, age 13 has a secret she has been keeping since 3rd grade. She decides to tell her parents, because she’s in danger of failing algebra. She sees numbers, letters, sounds and people surrounded by colors and textures.

In an attempt to figure out why she sees these colors her mother takes her to a pediatrician and psychotherapist. She learns the name for her condition when she consults a neurologist. Her condition is called synesthesia. The doctor gives her a website for people with synesthesia. She learns many people have the condition and some experience different results from it. Some experience tastes with colors.

She has kept the secret from her best friend and when the friend finds out she is angry and feels betrayed. After Mia’s cat dies her friend assumes Mia missed her birthday party, because she was with her new friends. Angry, she gives Mia no time to explain.

Mass introduces children to the disability called synesthesia in the voice of a child. Fully rooted in Mia’s reality the reader experiences her struggles with the disorder, trouble with friends and the death of her beloved cat, Mango. The relationships feel real and are complex and filled with jealousy and misunderstandings like all relationships are. The doors to synesthesia are opened and the disorder is revealed.

I highly recommend this book.

***According to a reviewer on Amazon with synesthesia the portrayal of the disorder is faulty. They contend the person with synesthesia is vaguely aware they see things differently.


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