A Mango Colored Meow


"Everyone thinks I named him Mango because of his orange eyes, but that's not the case.

"Everyone thinks I named him Mango because of his orange eyes, but that's not the case. I named him Mango because the sounds of his purrs and his wheezes and his meows are all various shades of yellow-orange, like a mango in different seasons." To Mia, every letter, number, word, and sound have a color. The letter 'a' is sunflower yellow, '2' is cotton candy pink, 'Mia' is candy apple red with a green tinge, and any sound her cat makes is mango-colored. Nobody else knows about her colors. She has kept it  a secret for thirteen years.

In third grade, Mia tried to tell her teacher and parents about the colors, but nobody believed her. That's when she first found out she was different. Everyone did not see that the number '4' was baby blanket blue, the sound of a violin is glossy red. The kids in her class made fun of her, and called her a freak. Mia hasn't talked about it to anyone since. But when she gets to eighth grade, she can't keep it a secret any longer.

Mia is failing algebra and her foreign language class. She can never figure out what 'x' is, because whatever number it is, is not the same color as the letter 'x'. In Spanish, the word 'amigo' is not the same color as the word 'friend'. She knows she is going to have to tell somebody about her colors. 

 Mia starts wondering who she is. Is she a freak like the kids in third grade told her? Will she ever be normal? She has to lose someone she loves to find out who Mia really is. 

Written by Wendy Mass, A Mango Shaped Space is a wonderful novel about love, loss, and finding oneself. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially ages 10-14. It is very interesting to read about Mia's colors, and just how special she is. It makes you wish you could see the colors too. This book is very sad, but hopeful at the same time. This is a beautiful story of self-discovery that's as fulfilling for the reader as it is for Mia.