History comes to life in this dynamic volume! Here are inside views of twenty writers--people of all shapes, sizes, temperaments, and lifestyles, from various countries and historical periods. Included are William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jane Austen, Emily Dickenson, Charles Dickens, and many others.
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Kathleen Krull is well known for her innovative, award-winning nonfiction for young readers, which includes the successful Lives of ... series. She is a book reviewer and former children's book editor. She lives in San Diego.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4 Up-Employing the lively format that worked so well in Lives of the Musicians (Harcourt, 1993), Krull and Hewitt present the brief histories of 20 classic writers-warts and all. Most are novelists and poets whose names, and possibly whose works, will be familiar to the intended audience. A wide variety of cultures and a generous proportion of women are represented. Krull organizes her biographical sketches chronologically, moving from Japan (Murasaki Shikibu, author of Tale of the Genji) through the centuries with Shakespeare, Cervantes, the Brontes, Twain, Poe, Zora Neale Hurston, and ending with Isaac Bashevis Singer. The glimpses she provides are respectful of their times and influences without being dull. The dry essentials are dealt with in the headings of each chapter. The rest is the juicy stuff-what the writers ate, the pets they kept, what they wore (with a healthy interest in underwear), their writing habits, eccentricities and scandals, and what people thought of them. Brief sections entitled "Bookmarks" highlight a few of their works. A one-page glossary of literary terms, a short index, and a child-focused bibliography complete the book. Hewitt maintains a light touch in her full-page caricatures by balancing fully realized facial portraits on small bodies surrounded by representative objects. The handsomely mounted text is larded with small pictorial reminders of the content. There's enough substance here for a quick report or to enliven a longer one. Let's hope this team continues through all the arts. An irresistible package.
Sally Margolis, Deerfield Public Library, IL
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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