Parents' Guide to

The House on Mango Street

By Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Poetic coming-of-age story deals with abuse, sexual assault.

The House on Mango Street Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 13+

I think those who don't like the book need to venture out and read stories about non-white protagonists or just stick to what you know

I currently am an English Major and had to read this book for an educational project and I find that the reviews on this book are rather harsh. I read this book not knowing what to expect, but from what I've read from these comments people really are mad that this book is different. Yes, the story is fragmented but do you know what it is like to not know English and only speak in fragments? Yes, this story is at times inappropriate, but do you know what it is like to live on a street like Esperanza? I do not think that these very fortunate critics of the books do. But, of course this is a great generalization. However, if you do want to read something that is within your comfort zone choose a book with a white protagonist! I'm pretty sure someone like Nancy Drew would tickle your fancy.

This title has:

Great messages
2 people found this helpful.
age 12+

Requires maturity, but incredible and realistic

The House on Mango Street is an incredible book for a plethora of reasons. It seems likely that the reviews written here vilifying the book were done by those that care little about Literature, exposure to different cultures, or stories that resonate with adolescents. Yes, the book contains a very vague scene of sexual assault that will likely only be understood by more mature readers. For public school classrooms with diverse make ups, this is a great book to read. It teaches girls from communities to stand up for themselves and question the ways society hurts them. It teaches all readers to dream big, reach their full potential, and learn from bad situations around them, as well as how what we are surrounded with impacts who we are. Inspiring, thought provoking, hopeful, and heart breaking all at once. If you feel that this book is "inappropriate" I strongly suggest you visit any real life middle school and you'll find that this book is much easier to digest than the real situations many of your children's peers are likely facing.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12 ):
Kids say (91 ):

In these short, poetic installments, Sandra Cisneros captures the sadness and desperation Esperanza sees among her neighbors, especially the women. Esperanza writes about her house on Mango Street with "windows so small you'd think they were holding their breath"; her mother, who quit school and pushes her to continue her education; and her friend Sally, who gets married too young to escape her house, only to end up trapped by her husband, who doesn't allow her to see friends or leave the house. There's also the confusion that comes with growing up, and the beauty in small moments, like riding a bike with friends.

Book Details

  • Author: Sandra Cisneros
  • Genre: Coming of Age
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Vintage Books
  • Publication date: April 9, 1991
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
  • Number of pages: 128
  • Last updated: October 9, 2021

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