Study Guide

A Mango-Shaped Space Chapter 3

By Wendy Mass

Chapter 3

  • That night, Mia can't sleep; she's too busy thinking about whether or not Billy sees colors.
  • She decides to run over to her grandpa's grave to grab her painting before anyone else wakes up.
  • At the cemetery, she sees Jenna and her dad visiting her mom's grave. Mia knows it's tough on Jenna to visit her mom, even if she never says so. This makes her thinks about all the stuff we hide from people who are close to us—even our best friends.
  • Jenna comes over and compliments Mia on the painting. The colors got smudged in the rain, but it still looks good.
  • At first Jenna thought the blurry blob on her grandpa's shoulder was a rat, but now she sees its Mango.
  • Mia complains that her mom is dragging her shopping that day, which she hates. She quickly backtracks, though, and invites Jenna—she figures it's probably not nice to whine about your mom when the person you're talking to is visiting her own mom's grave.
  • Jenna says she wants to spend the day with her dad but she might come over later.
  • When Mia gets home, her mom reminds her that Mango has a vet appointment that morning. They ride together to the noisy, smelly vet's office, and Mia tries to focus on something other than the colors of the sounds.
  • Just then, Roger Carson, a guy from Mia's school walks in with his parents and his old golden retriever.
  • They go straight to the back, and Mia can hear Roger crying back there. He's saying things like, "you said it wouldn't hurt him," and "I thought he would just drift off to sleep."
  • Roger's parents comfort him, telling him their dog is just reacting to the needle and isn't in pain now. (It's clear the dog is really old and being put down, even though Mia doesn't directly say that.)
  • Mia hugs Mango, and her mom grabs her hand, too. On the way home, her mom explains to her that the dog was really old, but Mia is still upset about the whole thing.
  • School starts. On the first day, Mia notices that Jenna is wearing a brand new dress. She might be allergic to cheerleaders and people trying to impress each other, but she still wants to look her best.
  • Mia, on the other hand, is in blue shorts and a t-shirt. She didn't even think about dressing up.
  • They agree to eat lunch together and head off to class.
  • Mia's first class is American History, which she likes because she matches dates and people to colors. But her teacher is super weird.
  • Mrs. Morris is one major germ-a-phobe. She makes students separate their work if they are sick and wash their hands before class. Mia doesn't see what the big deal is.
  • Next up? English, where she has a new teacher, Mr. Siedler, whom she likes instantly.
  • Then she has lunch with her usual crew (Jenna, Kimberly, Molly, and Sara), and notices that Sara grew breasts over the summer. She's not the only one to notice, either—all the boys stare at her chest throughout lunch.
  • Things get worse after lunch when Mia has to head to Pre-Algebra and Spanish. To her, numbers and words have colors, so it's confusing to match them with opposite colors.
  • For example, good is bueno in Spanish, but good and bueno aren't the same colors, so they just don't stick in Mia's head.
  • Her last class of the day is art, which is Mia's favorite. There's a new teacher this year named Mrs. Simpson.
  • She encourages the class to look through the art book and find a style they want to emulate—that way, they can get a sense of their own style.
  • After school, Mia tells Jenna of a PIC mission she's devised: Jenna will keep watch while she switches the "ill" and "healthy" piles of work in Mrs. Morris' class.
  • She sneaks in, does it, and runs out. Mission accomplished.
  • On their way to the bus, Mia sees Billy from the supermarket. She figures he must have an older brother or sister who goes to her school, but she tries not to think about it. Instead she's going to act as normal as possible.

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