Hiltebrand, Ellen 1969-

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HILTEBRAND, Ellen 1969-
(Ellen Urbani Hiltebrand)


Born 1969, in Philadelphia, PA; married; children: two. Education: University of Alabama, graduated; Marylhurst University, M.A., 1996.


Home—Portland, OR. Office—Jen-Elle, 7327 S.E. 37th Ave., Portland, OR 97202. Agent—Page-Turner Publicity, c/o Javier Perez, 32091 Virginia Way, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. E-mail[email protected]; [email protected].


Served as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching in Guatemala; Jen-Elle, Portland, OR, co-owner.


When I Was Elena (autobiography), Permanent Press (Sag Harbor, NY), 2006.


Ellen Hiltebrand's When I Was Elena is about the two years she spent in Guatemala with the Peace Corps. She was assigned there to set up youth groups. However, she was in such a rural area that the children were barely educated and were unable to attend school for more than an hour or two at a time, so she found herself teaching instead. She also ended up learning far more than the Spanish language, which had been one of her original goals. The women in the area saw to it she acquired basic survival skills, such as how to build a fire, while she in turn shared her own practical knowledge, such as basic medical care. When I Was Elena therefore recounts the impact Hiltebrand's experiences had on her life. Booklist reviewer David Pitt considered the book "rich in detail and character." In a review for School Library Journal, Kathleen Isaacs wrote of Hiltebrand: "She is an honest observer and her voice is convincing. Her mixed feelings of love and anger at the country are clearly conveyed." A contributor for Publishers Weekly concluded that "though in spots Hiltebrand's prose feels thickly applied, her animated voice reliably shines through."



Hiltebrand, Ellen, When I Was Elena, Permanent Press (Sag Harbor, NY), 2006.


Booklist, January 1, 2006, David Pitt, review of When I Was Elena, p. 34.

ForeWord, May-June, 2006, Iris Blasi, review of When I Was Elena.

Publishers Weekly, December 12, 2005, review of When I Was Elena, p. 54.

School Library Journal, March, 2006, Kathleen Isaacs, review of When I Was Elena, p. 257.


Ellen Urbani Hiltebrand Home Page,http://www.ellenurbanihiltebrand.com (September 25, 2006).

Jen-Elle.com, http://www.jen-elle.com/ (September 25, 2006), biographical information on Ellen Hiltebrand.

Voice of America News,http://www.voanews.com/ (May 2, 2006), Faiza Elmasry, "Peace Corps: Still a Transforming Experience."*