The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
“The House on Mango Street” is a series of vignettes about a young girl, Esperanza, growing up in a Latino neighborhood in Chicago. Esperanza deals with everything from relationships with her friends and family, to disruptive elements in the neighborhood and the desire to ‘get out’ of the neighborhood.
I found the main character’s voice to be very authentic. She worried and thought about the things that many girls do when growing up, and her worries about some negative elements in the neighborhood reminded me greatly of my time in the African Americans neighborhood of Englewood in Chicago. The vignettes would likely not work for everyone, but I imagined them as Esperanza’s diary and then they made sense to me.
This is a fantastic (and extremely short) book that is definitely worth a read, particularly if your reading tends to be anglo-centric.