Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros
Vintage (1991)
110 pages
ISBN:  0679734775
Middle-School and High-School Readers

Originally published in 1984, The House on Mango Street is a coming-of-age story set in the Hispanic section of Chicago.  This quick must-read is a series of vignettes, character sketches mostly.  With very few, but very exquisite, words Cisneros paints vivid pictures that breathe life into these characters.  Aunt Lupe, Rosa Vargas, Angel, Vargas, Marin...they step off the pages.  Life is hard for these people; they suffer from poverty, disease, spousal abuse, child abuse, desertion, loneliness, lack of education, but for the main character, Esperanza, whose very name means "hope," there is a chance she'll escape the fate of those around her.  For unlike the other women and girls of her neighborhood, she is free.  She has no men to feed; she is allowed to leave the house, and she is getting an education.  What's more, Esperanza is determined to have a better life, but she promises to come back for those she leaves behind.  You can't help but root for Esperanza to prevail.

To order from Amazon, click The House on Mango Street.


  1. Putting this one on hold. It sounds great.

  2. This book is great. It's been years since I read it, but I'll never forget it. Particularly memorable and quite tragic is the story of Aunt Lupe.