A Mango-Shaped Space

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Description A Mango-Shaped Space is a novel by Wendy Mass. It is about Mia Winchell, a thirteen-year-old girl living with synesthesia. Her synesthesia causes her problems in school, with friends, and winning the understanding of her parents and peers. The book received the American Library Association Schneider Family Book Award in 2004. It has since been nominated for, and received, a number of other awards.PlotIn a prologue, Mia first experiences ridicule at the hands of her third-grade classmates when she is called to the front of the room to do a math problem. She uses colored chalk to make the numbers fit into the synesthetic form she sees. Her teacher tells her to stop making up silly stories and that numbers have only shape and value and no colors. Mia is left confused and alone, because she thought everyone saw letters and colors the same way. After that, Mia keeps her synesthesia a secret and her classmates forget about the incident.When Mia is thirteen, her beloved grandfather is gravely sick. He later passes from a deadly disease known as phishemiasmosis. During her grandfather's funeral, Mia finds a white and grey kitten with eyes the same color as her grandfather's. She believes that part of her grandfather's soul is living in that kitten. She takes him home and names him Mango the Magnificat (Mango for short); not because of his orange eyes, but because his meows and his heavy wheezing are different shades of orange to her, like a mango in different seasons. The wheezes are actually caused by a deep rip in the lining of one of Mango's lungs, which cannot be repaired, but Mango copes with it by taking pills.One day, when Mia is at the grocery store with her mother, she meets someone who could very well share her condition: a 5-year old boy named Billy Henkle, who sees her name as orange with purple stripes. Mia is shocked, but his mother quickly retorts that he has an overactive imagination.
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