Study Guide

A Mango-Shaped Space Mortality

By Wendy Mass

Mortality

We hate to break it to you, but we're all going to die. Luckily, we don't have to think about our mortality too often. Unless a big disaster strikes or someone close to us is sick, we can usually go about our lives without worrying about that kind of big-picture stuff. Phew. But the characters in A Mango-Shaped Space have more than their fair share of death to deal with. Jenna's mom, Mia's grandparents, and Mango all die and leave a big, empty space behind in the lives of everyone who loved them. One might even say a mango-shaped one.

Questions About Mortality

  1. Which death in the book affects Mia the most? Why? How does it make her feel?
  2. Why is there so much death in this book in the first place? Is A Mango-Shaped Space making a larger statement about mortality in general? If so, what is it?
  3. Have you ever felt the emptiness that Mia experiences when Mango dies? What were the side effects of grief (aside from sadness) that helped you relate to Mia losing her colors?

Chew on This

A Mango-Shaped Space focuses on grief as a way of showing that no matter how different we might seem, when it comes to grief, we have a lot in common.

It might sound cliché, but coming face to face with death makes Mia appreciate life more.