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LIVES OF THE WRITERS By Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt

Lives of the Writers was a 4-star read for me. I originally picked it up because it included E.B. White and I am currently doing a “deep dive” into  Charlotte’s Web, but I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting. It contains brief biographical information and at least one interesting or intriguing anecdote about each of 20 well-known writers.

The information is, for the most part, engaging and easily accessible to most readers. I was not familiar with only one of the writers (Murasaki Shikibu). Both biographical and anecdotal stories for the writers about whom I already know a great deal (Dickens, Shakespeare, Poe. Twain, Dickinson and White) did not provide any new information or insights. However, I did learn some interesting things about Louisa May Alcott, Zora Neale Hurston & Langston Hughes, among others. Sadly, only 7 of the authors are women and only 3 are writers of color, but Lives of the Writers does provide a terrific jumping off point for kids to study these authors and their work more in depth.

Authors included in this collection:

Murasaki Shikibu

Miguel de Cervantes

William Shakespeare

Jane Austen

Hans Christian Andersen

Edgar Allan Poe

Charles Dickens

Charlotte & Emily Bronte

Emily Dickinson

Louisa May Alcott

Mark Twain

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Robert Louis Stevenson

Jack London

Carl Sandburg

E. B. White

Zora Neale Hurston

Langston Hughes

Isaac Bashevis Singer

This book might also be used as a companion for fictional middle-grade stories that involve some of these great authors as characters:

The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary L. Blackwood (William Shakespeare)

Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli  (Emily Dickinson)

The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra Deedy   (Charles Dickens)

The Man Who Was Poe by Avi  (Edgar Allan Poe)


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