I chose this book last minute for a post AP Language Independent Study for a political fiction course, after my student did an exhaustive amount of research about Venezuela, particularly Hugo Chavez’s time in office. This novel was the perfect choice. There was just the right amount of fiction and fact, and I was hooked since the first page. Although the dialogue is clearly fictional, many of what was said about Hugo Chavez, from his obsession with Simón Bolívar, his relationship with Fidel Castro and how that impacted the economy to how Chavez’s democracy was clearly a dictatorship.
Although this was for a post AP student, it is the perfect book to assign to a student the summer before AP Spanish Language and Culture or beyond. I did have some students who grew up speaking other Romance Languages and read it at the start of Spanish 4 and loved it, particularly when we were studying the lack of human rights – this book is perfect to show the inequality of such powerful political regimes during this time in Venezuela and beyond.