The House on Mango Street

house on mango streetSummary-  Certain parts of this book are not for younger audiences. You must be in at least in high-school before reading it.

Esperanza is a little girl who moves with her family of six to a house on Mango Street. It’s  not the beautiful house her parents promised. It is nothing but a small, crumbling red house in a poor urban neighborhood especially meant for those like her. Esperanza, who’s often followed by her younger sister Nenny, meets the other residents of Mango Street. These include Most of the neighborhood’s residents are Hispanic, including Esperanza, whose father is a Mexican immigrant and whose mother is Latina.
Esperanza is ashamed of her family’s social status. In many instances she lies or ties to hide signs of her family’s poverty.  Esperanza’s adolescent years are even worse than her younger years.  Esperanza faces sexual aggression in two instances one in which an old man at work forces her to kiss him, and another in which some boys at a carnival rape her. Esperanza’s friends also suffer hardships: Alicia, whose mother is dead, is forced by her father to rise early every morning to make tortillas for her family; Sally, a beautiful girl at school, endures abuse from her father; Minerva, a teenage mother of two children, is constantly being  either abandoned or beaten by her husband.
Esperanza’s mother, a key figure in her life encourages her not to let men hold her back, and to not sit and wait for life start. If she wants wants she can do it on her own, she needs no man. Witnessing the fate of countless female schoolmates who marry young to escape the abuse of their fathers, only to suffer abuse at the hands of their new husbands, Esperanza resolves to leave Mango Street with her books and her papers. She dreams of having a beautiful house all her own, where she can write, and be free. Can Esperanza accomplish her dreams or will she be forever fated to stay in Mango Street?


You cannot confidently say you have read heartbreaking and moving books until you have read this one.  The author has written the book as a series of vignettes of short stories. These stories while only a couple pages each have such beautifully descriptive language, and words that invoke the humanity in the world, and in our beings, that is so rare to find today.  This book is a 100 out of 10.  Even though there is only  110 pages in the book is has a powerful meanings and themes behind. It is one of a kind.