A Mango-Shaped Space

>> Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Author: Wendy Mass
Recommended Age: Young Adult
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Year Published: 2005
No. Pages: 218
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Main Character Gender: Female
Read & Reviewed by: Megan

Thirteen-year old Mia sees numbers, letters and words as colours. She keeps this hidden from everyone in her life until her struggles at school become overwhelming. Once her condition is revealed, her friends and even her family have difficulty relating to her. Her mom brings her to one doctor, after another, until they meet Dr. Weiss who diagnoses Mia with synesthesia. Mia goes from feeling like a freak to becoming more comfortable within herself as she meets others with the same condition.
A Mango Shaped-Space was a quick read. From the first page to the last, I was captured by Wendy Mass' writing and couldn't put the book down. She wrote this book in first person, from Mia’s point of view. I thought that if it had been written in third person it would not have included as many of Mia’s thoughts and feelings. First person helped me connect to Mia and understand her point of view.

Until this novel, I didn’t know that synesthesia existed. While I learned that synesthesia is a condition where senses that normally occur in one modality, let’s say sight, occurs when another is stimulated. Another thing that I learned is that there are people all over the world that have this condition. A great example of synesthesia is when Mia names her cat Mango, not because of his colour but from the colours of his wheezes.

This story is about difference. Mia isn’t like everyone else and people need to learn to accept her for who she is and realize that her differences enrich who she is. This is an important lesson for people of all ages. I rated this book a 10/10 because Wendy Mass paints pictures with her words throughout the whole book so it was easy to visualize each chapter in your head.

Other novels by Wendy Mass are Leap Day, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, Heaven Looks a lot Like the Mall, Finally, Every Soul a Star and 11 Birthdays.

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