The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sandra Cisneros' wonderful narration of her short novel The House on Mango Street illuminates her character Esperanza and the community of friends and families she lives in on the fictional Mango Street. This is a seemingly simple novel that today seems more important than ever for young people to read, as it captures the Chicano experience through the eyes of children. Cisneros, born in Chicago, developed her unique voice after feeling dissatisfied with trying to emulate creative writing styles that were more accepted. She describes her fiction as conversational in style and this certainly captures Esperanza's story. Growing up poor and seeing the limiting choices faced by many girls, along with the indifference of adults to abuses of girls, Esperanza, just like the meaning of her name, which disappoints her, hopes for more.
In her introduction to the novel, Cisneros says that she is often asked if she herself is Esperanza. She says her reply is that everyone is Esperanza. We all hope for more.
This is a short novel, which won the American Book Award in 1985, is often recommended for middle graders. It should be on everyone's reading list.
This was my 2019 Classic Read for the month of April. And yeah, I know it's the middle of May. Sigh.
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