My Brigadista Year

By: Katherine Paterson

Follow a young Cuban teenager as she volunteers for Fidel Castro's national literacy campaign and travels into the impoverished countryside to teach others how to read.

ISBN: 9780763695088

JLG Release: Feb 2018


Sensitive Areas: Guns, War, Violence, Racism, Murder, Torture

$15.99   $12.75 Member Price


Add to Wishlist

Like this book? Get more like it every month.

Advanced Readers

Grades 6-9

12 titles/year

$201.60/year

Awards & Honors

MSL Cream of the Crop - 2018
Winter 2017–2018 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview, Top Ten

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

Lora Díaz Llera, 13, lives with her family in Havana, Cuba. In 1961, Fidel Castro creates the Campaña Nacional de Alfabetización en Cuba, a governmental initiative designed to abolish illiteracy in the country. Lora, having been taught to help others, wants to volunteer for Premier Castro’s literacy brigadistas, who are tasked Lora Díaz Llera, 13, lives with her family in Havana, Cuba. In 1961, Fidel Castro creates the Campaña Nacional de Alfabetización en Cuba, a governmental initiative designed to abolish illiteracy in the country. Lora, having been taught to help others, wants to volunteer for Premier Castro’s literacy brigadistas, who are tasked with going out into the countryside to teach others how to read and write. Despite her family being reluctant for her to take part in this, Lora soon leaves for training and journeys to the countryside to take up residency with a family: Luis, Veronica, and their three small children. Lora finds deep satisfaction in teaching, but the atmosphere is intense. Not only do the men generally resist her efforts—finding it hard to be educated by a young girl—but there is the ever-present threat of attack from members of the resistance. The story is told solely from Lora’s perspective; she views her brigadista work as a calling and a way to give back to those less fortunate than herself, despite her own humble beginnings. Filled with moments of racism, prejudice, sexism, and ageism, the issues and themes explored will raise questions, hopefully spark further research into Cuban history, and fuel discussion. VERDICT Paterson offers a moving look at an episode in Cuban history. Consider for fans of historical fiction.—Stephanie Charlefour, formerly at Wixom Public Library, MI

Horn Book

It is 1961 in Havana, Cuba. Despite her parents’ misgivings, thirteen-year-old Lora becomes a member of the Conrado Benítez Brigade. She, along with thousands of other young brigadistas, travels hours away to live with poor mountain farmers and become teachers in order to fulfill Fidel Castro’s wish that the country become 100% lit It is 1961 in Havana, Cuba. Despite her parents’ misgivings, thirteen-year-old Lora becomes a member of the Conrado Benítez Brigade. She, along with thousands of other young brigadistas, travels hours away to live with poor mountain farmers and become teachers in order to fulfill Fidel Castro’s wish that the country become 100% literate in one year. In this idealistic and informative coming-of-age novel, readers experience alongside Lora her triumphs and challenges as she exchanges her sheltered city life for the experience of living on a farm and seeing how learning to read and write changes lives. Lora comes across as a distinct, individual character, but through her the reader also learns many details about the brigadistas: how they were expected to work in the fields alongside their host families and help out as much as possible in the home; the dangers they faced due to “counterrevolutionaries,” including threats that they “would come and kill all the literacy teachers in the area.” Though all the brigadistas were young, none faltered in their duties to educate rural campesinos for the cause. Paterson also brings in Cuban politics, covering Castro’s rise to power as well as reasons why many Cubans resented America’s interference in their country. Lora’s story helps readers see how the Cuban people’s resilience and fortitude overcame extreme hardship. Though Castro’s literacy campaign happened fifty-six years ago, Cuba has still maintained one of the world’s highest literacy rates. Appended with an author’s note and a timeline of Cuban history. alma ramos-mcdermott

Book Details

ISBN

9780763695088

First Release

February 2018

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

7 3/4" x 5 1/4"

Page Count

160

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.3; Points: 5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.4; Points: 8;

Lexile

Level 830L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Candlewick

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Guns, War, Violence, Racism, Murder, Torture

Topics


Standard MARC Record

Download Standard MARC Record

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Recommended Titles From Advanced Readers

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

by Ashley Herring Blake

Advanced Readers

$16.80

To Night Owl From Dogfish

by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Advanced Readers

$16.80

Genesis Begins Again

by Alicia D. Williams

Advanced Readers

$16.80

North to Benjamin

by Alan Cumyn

Advanced Readers

$16.80
Copyright © 2017 Magento, Inc. All rights reserved.