Study Guide

A Mango-Shaped Space Lies and Deceit

By Wendy Mass

Lies and Deceit

A little white lie never hurt anyone, right? Most people think it's cool to hide the truth when it's something small, like telling your grandma you like the sweater she knit you when really you've never seen anything so hideous. But maybe they should talk to Mia. At first it doesn't seem like a big deal to tell her parents and teachers that she made the whole colors debacle up—she figures it's easier than explaining what's actually happening—but fast-forward five years and she's in hot water. She's flunking math, and doesn't know how to explain it. Hmm… it makes us think if she just had let her parents in on the lie in the first place, she wouldn't have worried so much.

In A Mango-Shaped Space, sometimes even a white lie can come back to haunt you. Gulp.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. What are the consequences of Mia's first lie about her colors in third grade? How does her lie affect people? Who is hurt the most?
  2. Why does Mia pretend she was lying instead of telling the truth in math class? What is she afraid of?
  3. How would Mia's life be different without deceit? What would change? Be specific.

Chew on This

Mia lies to protect her friends and family from the truth about her condition. Since she doesn't know what's wrong with her, she doesn't want to worry them.

Mia lies because she's worried someone will label her a freak again if she tells the truth about her colors, and that would be the worst possible thing for her.

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