Between the Lines: The House on Mango Street

I love to read but don’t love reading books that have questionable themes. I want to make sure that I’m a discerning reader and choose books that will benefit me because, as James Bryce said, “The worth of a book is measured by what you can take away from it.” 

Since I have found some books that I enjoyed reading, I would like to pass them on to you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I include some non-Christian books not because I agree with them, but rather I know that many Christian teenage girls read these books and need to think biblically as they do.

Lastly, if you click on my link to purchase any book I review, the proceeds go to to help fund an orphanage and church planting in India. It's run by Pastor Arjuna, whom I have known since childhood and has my favorite Coloradoite on staff, my friend Lauren. For more information, please visit

The House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros


This short book is an honest look at life for a young Latina immigrant struggling to count her blessings among what seems to be a life she is unfit for. Esperanza is forced to grow up faster than she would like to due to living in a rough Chicago neighborhood where she learns to protect herself and her family from dangers she hasn't known before. She realizes the world is an ugly place full of heartbreak, abuse, and seemingly endless pains. Esperanza's innocence is jeopardized thanks to the maturity of older kids on the block, lies from fortune tellers, and the witnessing of events such as a funeral. The characters aren't candy-coated or cleaned up but are portrayed as real people with realistic struggles. In the end, Esperanza learns to embrace the situation she has been given by giving back to her community.


The poetic, diary-like style of The House on Mango Street perfectly conveys the blunt, direct manner in which Esperanza, the main character, communicates her complaints to her community.


There is no clear plot line, and characters seem to come in and out of focus. Some characters seem to disappear and then randomly resurface chapters later.


Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Pages: 110

Worldview: Non-Christian

Genre: Poetry-Non-Fiction

Ages: 14–17

Purchase a copy of The House on Mango Street and support Vision Nationals.