Study Guide

A Mango-Shaped Space Family

By Wendy Mass

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You know what they say: You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. Mia knows this one all too well. Her family is full of a bunch of oddballs. There's her sister, Beth, whose hair color changes more frequently than the calendar. Her parents are preoccupied with science projects (mom) and building secret tunnels and stairs (dad) all the time. And Zack rounds out the crowd by adhering to every single superstition ever said. And you thought your family was weird.

Here's the thing about the Winchells in A Mango-Shaped Space, though: They might be quirky, but they have each other's backs, and even when Mia least expects it, her family is there for her. Mia learns it's not being "normal" that matters; it's having a family that stays by your side through thick and thin.

Questions About Family

  1. What is the significance of Mia's family? How do they help her? Do they each do so in different ways? Are there patterns you notice?
  2. Why do you think the author spends so much time commenting on the quirkiness of Mia's family? What's the deal with the weirdness? How does this help Mia with her synesthesia?
  3. Is it important that Mia's grandma also had synesthesia? Why or why not?

Chew on This

When it really matters, Mia's family is there for each other, every single time.

Mia's family is quirky to show us how normal her synesthesia really is.

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