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Children's LiteratureWritten like a story, this biography of the famed Chilean writer Isabel Allende highlights many important features of her very impressive life. Beginning with her unusual childhood, the book gives details about her eccentric grandmother who believed in spirits, her parents' marriage and subsequent divorce, and Isabel's own school-time antics that sometimes landed her in trouble. Troublesome periods in Isabel's life are also presented, such as the death of her beloved grandmother and the military coup that killed many of her relatives, including the president of Chile. Most importantly, the book offers information about Isabel's rise as a famous author, including the long letter to her grandfather that paved the way for the novel, The House of Spirits. Beautiful illustrations depicting scenes from Isabel's life accompany the bilingual text. An extensive chronology of Isabel's life finishes off the book, and from it, readers can learn not only about important dates in Isabel's personal life, but can also find the publication dates of many of her works. This book could easily be used for multiple types of classroom lessons, including the study of biographies, literature, history, or Latin America. 2003, Piñata Books/Arte Público Press, Ages 5 to 8.
—Ramirose Attebury Wendt