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Cisneros, Sandra.
New York : A.A. Knopf, 1998.
ISBN 067943335X
“We didn’t always live on Mango Street. Before that we lived on Lomis on the third floor, and  before that we lived on Keeler. Before Keeler it was Paulina, and before that I can’t remember. But mostly what I remember is moving a lot.”

The House on Mango Street is a book of short stories by Sandra Cisneros. It tells the story of a young girl, Esperanza, growing up in a slightly dangerous Latino-American neighborhood. The book tells how she learns about her community and, in doing so, all about her life as well. Here are just some of the people and places that you would learn about if you read this book.

 Gil’s Furniture Bought & Sold. Even though you never find out who Gil  actually is, you can suppose that he is the owner of this store. “Gil” is a black man who sits in the corner all day and watches the people move around and show interest in his merchandise. Except this store isn’t any ordinary store. It is just a big dark room with no light. There, everything is strewn all over the floor. Esperanza tells about her sister Nenny and her going and buying old and used junk. Yet here everything found is a treasure.

 Meme Ortiz. Meme is a boy who lives across the street from Esperanza in an old house. There he lives with his mother and his dog. He claims his real name is Juan, and seems like a real dare devil.

 Sally. Wearing “Cleopatra” eye make-up, black stockings, and getting lots of attention from the boys, Sally is secretly Esparanza’s role model. Her mother says that wearing black so young is unlady like, and her father says that being that beautiful is dangerous.  Yet in private Esparanza wishes that she could be like Sally.

 Esparanza is your typical girl living with not such a typical life. Read The House on Mango Street to learn about how Esparanza deals with her problems and finds out who she really is.  (Sarah C. 8th grade student, Rundlett Middle School)

SUBJECTS:     Hispanic Americans -- Fiction.
                        Girls -- Fiction.
                        Chicago (Ill.) -- Fiction


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