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I Lived on Butterfly Hill Hardcover – March 4, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Told in first person, Celeste narrates her life's journey during a turbulent time in Chile's history. Parallel to Celeste's experiences, award-winning Chilean poet Agostin knows, first-hand, what it was like to live in fear --- she escaped the horrors of Pinochet's 17-year dictatorship by moving to the US. In her first book geared for young adults, Agostin has taken her experiences and created a story of courage against all odds. Tightly woven with historical facts, Celeste is confronted with a plethora of obstacles --- both in her homeland and during her three-year stay with her aunt in Juliette Cove, Maine.
Agostin' s narrative is remarkably laced with poetic imagery of beauty, love, and hope in the midst of horrific crimes toward humanity. Coupled with this imagery is the handful of strong role models who help mold how Celeste will ultimately address tough decisions.Read more ›
The story follows Celeste, a Chilean youngster whose life is radically changed after a military coup in her country. Friends slowly begin vanishing from school, people become reluctant to discuss events, and fear, uncertainly, and dread become a visceral part of life. Celeste is a well-loved daughter of two doctors who tend to the poor. She is poetically inclined and has already observed that rain in her country falls two different ways – on the wealthy it brings nourishment and makes flowers bloom, on the poor it destroys their cardboard and tin homes and spoils their food. She is wise because she is observant.
After her parents are forced to go into hiding, Celeste is sent to Maine with no English, no sense of American life, and no skills in the world of “chores.” She also has no knowledge of snow or cold or silence or solitude. We walk with Celeste through her years in Maine as she comes to understand and accept and value this northern world while always yearning for home and for the parents who might or might not still be alive. Eventually, the Chilean dictatorship falls and she returns home to yet another prolonged adjustment to a world that is no longer the world she left so many years before.
She finds that many things, and many people, are gone for good.Read more ›
I found the references to the dictatorship and its aftermath, vague and ominous as they were, quite effective. Young (and older) readers who want to learn more about what happened can find that information in a number of books. In a few, well-selected passages, this novel captures the fear of not knowing, the fear of asking, the fear of even writing about the disappeared in a way that touches the reader. But it also captures the joys of strolling around, having ice cream, dancing, and staring at the stars. In future editions, it would be helpful to include a brief historical account at the end and a beginning bibliography for those students and teachers who will use this book as the basis for a larger discussion on the history of Chile. Celeste will be their spirited guide and inspiration.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully told and inspiring! The book is a history lesson wrapped in relationships and seasoned with culture.Published 6 months ago by Kathleen Pyne
I am eleven years old and I have always loved poetry and writing and this is my favorite book!
I saw this title on a list of Best Multicultural Chapter Books on the Pragmatic Mom's blog. The title really jumped out at me. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Lisa Genschel
I have this book on a list of choices for books to read for an 8th grade unit on Latin America. The students who have read it have refused to give it back to me because they want... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Humbuzz
Great book! Definitely a great book and if you purchase this book bring a tissue box, you'll need it!Published 8 months ago by BestSki
An exceptional book. WHY don't they have 4.5 stars? I can't wait to send this book to girls in 6-8th grade. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lois Barliant