Author: Sandra Cisneros
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Esperanza, the narrator of Sanda Cisneros' beautiful novel, has awkward tendencies, though she's funnier and more poetic than most characters populating YA fiction. She makes you realize that everyone is embarrassed by their identity, but more importantly, she asks you to understand that we're all human. 

Told through a series of nonlinear vignettes, The House on Mango Street follows the Latina teenager as she writes about her day-to-day life, even as she pines for an idyllic house with a yard and working pipes. Over the course of the novel, readers watch Esperanza experience puberty and poverty, growing into a complex young woman.