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A Mango-Shaped Space


A Mango-Shaped Space

In kindergarten we all learned our colors and shapes. It was all pretty simple, right? For Mia, it wasn't as easy as that. She had shapes and colors, but they hung in the air around people's names. Numbers had colors, too, and so did sounds. Until third grade, Mia thought everyone else saw the world the way she did. An unpleasant incident in her math class that year caused her to hide her gift from everyone, until a friend of hers told everyone about Mia's talents in eighth grade. With the secret out, Mia knows it's time to tell her parents about her special ability. They take her from one doctor to the next until Mia learns that she has synesthesia, a brain condition that causes multiple senses to mix, giving sound --- and even taste --- color. Knowing what she has opens a new world for her that is sometimes scary but completely fascinating.

Though the novel sometimes reads more like a textbook on synesthesia, everyone will be able to identify with something in Mia's life. The emotions are very real, even if there does tend to be an overload of angst in the sections toward the end of the book, which concern her cat, Mango. Anyone with brothers or sisters will love Mia's family with all of their wacky yet supportive ways. At the end of the book, there is a helpful page with websites and contact information on synesthesia and dealing with loss and grief.

Reviewed by Carlie Kraft on April 16, 2003

A Mango-Shaped Space
by Wendy Mass

  • Publication Date: April 16, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0316523887
  • ISBN-13: 9780316523882