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The House on Mango Street Paperback – April 3, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Esperanza Cordero, a girl coming of age in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, uses poems and stories to express thoughts and emotions about her oppressive environment. (Apr.)no PW review
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“A classic. . . . This little book has made a great space for itself on the shelf of American literature.” —Julia Alvarez
“Afortunado! Lucky! Lucky the generation who grew up with Esperanza and The House on Mango Street. And lucky future readers. This funny, beautiful book will always be with us.” —Maxine Hong Kingston
“Cisneros draws on her rich [Latino] heritage . . . and seduces with precise, spare prose, creat[ing] unforgettable characters we want to lift off the page. She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one.” —Bebe Moore Campbell, The New York Times Book Review
“Marvelous . . . spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisneros’s storytelling is evident. She communicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world.” —San Francisco Cronicle
“A deeply moving novel...delightful and poignant. . . . Like the best of poetry, it opens the windows of the heart without a wasted word.” —Miami Herald
“Sandra Cisneros is one of the most brillant of today’s young writers. Her work is sensitive, alert, nuanceful . . . rich with music and picture.” —Gwendolyn Books
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Chicano literature is so strong and the political discourse is so important. In this narrative, we can see the main character of the book that does not like to be who she is, she does not like to live where she lives, she does not like to be associated to the rest of the town. We see so many times how the latino culture of “you do what you are told” is presented on the text, mainly on the part of get a job at the age of 16, or around that. However, this is totally related to the economical struggles that the family has, like most of all the Mexican families living in the States. The father is a gardener and some might find this stereotypical but I see it more like a denounce.
Just a warning, this book DOES have a plot of sorts, but it isn't as linear as most. The focus isn't on Esperanza's story as much as it is on her character development. Readers should be prepared to enjoy the short (between one and five pages) vignettes individually, and then perhaps draw their conclusions after reading them all.
Personally, I very much enjoyed this book, and plan to use it for homeschooling when my daughter is older.