Book Review: The House on Mango Street
Review written by Jobe Jennings, teen volunteer.
The House On Mango Street, a novel by Sandra Cisneros, is a very compact novel that describes what it’s like to be a young Chicana woman growing up in the Chicago in a time of poverty and crisis. Esperanza, the Chicana main character who is put into many situations to show us growth and learning, takes us on a journey through her life in 44 vignettes. She grows up in a neighborhood that meant nothing to her at first, but throughout the novel she learns the importance of family, heritage, and life in general through her childhood living on Mango Street and the surrounding areas. Cisneros, herself a Chicana woman who grew up in Chicago, captures both entertaining and powerful moments in this novel to demonstrate the challenges of growing up in Esperanza’s shoes.
This novel is a short read and uses simple wording to convey powerful feelings and emotions, all of which I felt as I read it for myself both the first and second times through. The House On Mango Street is a good book to be able to listen to wherever you go. Its language is simple enough that you can follow along without the physical novel. The themes in this book range from the struggles of growing up for people of color and being accustomed to your surroundings and becoming a part of your “neighborhood” making this, to me, a perfect teen book for both school and pleasure reading. The House On Mango Street is something that I feel would be a novel for anyone to pick up and have at least one read-through of because of how simple the story is to read and how complex the messages of the book are. There is something for everyone in Cisneros’s novel, check it out with your library card.
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