The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

As usual, school has required readings. The third book required for me this year was The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. I’m sure many other people know of it. Majority of my friends said they loved the book and remember reading it. 

This coming-of-age novel is split into vignettes–short chapters or episodes–told in the perspective of the main character, Esperanza. She tells stories about things that happen in her life, but in no particular order. It starts with her and her family moving into their new house which is on Mango Street. As she grows up in the new neighborhood, she tells plenty of short stories of different people, what has happened to her, and what has happened to them. 

This is a very short book but it’s still a great read. Most of the book is told in an almost childlike way using simple words and many variations. But even with its simplicity, it holds some very detailed descriptions and symbols. I know that a lot of people would rather not pick out the symbolism and figurative language when they read a book, especially if the book is just for enjoyment. Trust me, if it weren’t for school, then I probably wouldn’t have either. But if you’re willing to look deep into the story and really pick apart a few phrases, then it can make your reading of this book, and others, much more interesting.

This book has so many symbols that really help convey the message more clearly than it already is. It adds so much more to the theme of the book and while you don’t have to pick out symbolism and such, it can enhance this book a lot more.

While it may seem like a fun and happy story, there is a surprisingly darker undertone if you take the time to really look at it. If it didn’t have this other side to it, I don’t think I would have really liked this book. If you’re considering reading this book, just keep in mind that there are some dark messages and scenes that can definitely make you a little uncomfortable. 

Overall, The House on Mango Street was a pretty good read for me. Taking a deeper dive into the symbolism and finer details of the book was fun for me. I think I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a short, good read. But I’d mostly recommend this to people who are a little older, really anyone out of middle school. It’s a great book and a good choice if you’re looking for something to read and really delve deeper into.

-Nicole R.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is available to check out from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.