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My Brigadista Year

My Brigadista Year

Written by Katherine Paterson

Narrated by Frankie Corzo


My Brigadista Year

Written by Katherine Paterson

Narrated by Frankie Corzo

ratings:
4.5/5 (9 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Oct 10, 2017
ISBN:
9781543654967
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In an engrossing historical novel, the Newbery Medal–winning author of Bridge to Terabithia follows 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.

When thirteen-year-old Nora tells her parents that she wants to join Premier Castro's army of young literacy teachers, her mother screeches to high heaven and her father roars like a lion. Nora has barely been outside of Havana—why would she throw away her life in a remote shack with no electricity, sleeping on a hammock in somebody's kitchen? But Nora is stubborn: didn't her parents teach her to share what she has with someone in need? Surprisingly, Nora's abuela takes her side, even as she makes Nora promise to come home if things get too hard. But how will Nora know for sure when that time has come? Shining light on a little-known moment in history, Katherine Paterson traces a young teen's coming-of-age journey from a sheltered life to a singular mission: teaching fellow Cubans of all ages to read and write while helping with the work of their daily lives and sharing the dangers posed by counterrevolutionaries hiding in the hills nearby. Inspired by true accounts, the novel includes an author's note and a time line of Cuban history.

Released:
Oct 10, 2017
ISBN:
9781543654967
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Katherine Paterson is one of the world’s most celebrated and beloved authors. Among her many awards are two Newberys and two National Book Awards, and she was recently named a "Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. She has been published in more than 22 languages in a variety of formats, from picture books to historical novels.

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Reviews

What people think about My Brigadista Year

4.6
9 ratings / 7 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Based on a true historical event that happened in Cuba in the 1960's, when Castro sent out volunteers to all regions of his country to teach literacy to people that did not have the ability to read.
  • (4/5)
    Thirteen-year-old Lora wants to volunteer as a literacy tutor in Fidel Castro's Cuba but her parents aren't keen. With the help of her grandmother, she finally persuades them and, after a period of training, she is sent to a small village to teach the occupants to read and write. Over the course of a year, Lora forms strong bonds with the villagers and with her follow Brigadistas in neighbouring villages. Despite sometimes being scared, Lora doesn't return home till her job is finished.This story is set in a time and place I knew nothing about so it was a revelation to read about the world's most ambitious and organized literacy campaign. Castro had many faults but his plan did raise Cuban literacy from 76% to 96% in the space of a year. Katherine Paterson has obviously done her research but this book is first and foremost an engaging story of a young girl who leaves her family and comfortable home to do a difficult and sometime dangerous job.
  • (5/5)
    Nora, 13 years-old, joins Castro's Army of literacy teachers where she will live without electricity in a shack but Nora is determined to teach people in remote areas how to read and write. There are many challenges and also many dangers. A unique setting, a unique project, with believable characters.
  • (4/5)
    This book provides a fictional account of true events: how, in 1961, thousands of Cubans, including some very young people, embarked on a year-long crusade to teach their countrymen how to read and write, bringing their national literacy rate above 96%. It takes a while to get into the actual story as some historical context is established, and even this is so brief that it may confuse some readers, but I did eventually fall in love with the characters once the main character met her campesino family. As a teacher, the book definitely oversimplifies what it takes to help someone learn, but other challenges that the main character faces, such as moving out into the country and fearing attack by bandits, help to showcase some of the hardships that were inherent in the lives of the real brigadistas. Paterson is very clear at the end of the book about how Castro did many terrible things as a leader, but how that does not negate the success and importance of this movement. This book may help young readers see beyond propaganda to get to know a nation that most Americans understand only very superficially, and may also help inspire struggling readers to embrace the liberating power of literacy.
  • (5/5)
    One of the best books I’ve read this year! Lora, only 13, volunteers for Fidel Castro’s Literacy Program. After learning how to teach, she is sent with an army of other young people into the countryside, to teach the poor how to read. It is full of danger and challenge.First, having the story told in First-Person gives us real insight into the character growth and courage of Lora. Second, the research of the history of Cuba is impeccable. Seeing America through the eyes of Cubs Under Castro was enlightening and made me think about our country in a different (but good) way. Americans can get a bit myopic when it comes to our place in the world and this book helps open the viewpoint in a good way.I highly recommend for anyone, ages 8-9 and above. There is some talk of death and fear, and one character does die. While not graphic (or even on-screen) it has an effect on the characters. The realities of what these kids did and what Cuba was like at the time is not washed-over, but told in simply language. History is not always pretty but worth reading and Patterson has given us a book worth reading.
  • (4/5)
    This is coming-of-age journey for a young Cuban teenager who volunteers for Fidel Castro’s national literacy campaign. The setting is disturbing for anyone but especially for this young girl. Her parent's are not happy about her decision as it's during a time of political unrest. A young literacy worker has already been killed by guerrillas and counterrevolutionaries are hiding in nearby fields. Her abuela sides with her reminding her parent's it's a new day. And, she will be teaching other Cuban's to read and write.During midyear of the campaign the school's were closed when reports came out stating that the campign was behind and more teachers were need to join the campaign. This read started off as a work of nonfiction and evolved into a novel. The historical notations throughout make it an interesting read.I reviewed for Net Galley.
  • (4/5)
    In 1961 thirteen-year-old Lora Díaz Llera decides to volunteer to be a literacy teacher, leave her home in Havana, and venture into the countryside, as part of corps that plans to make good on Premier Castro’s promise to make Cuba completely literate in one year. Her parents are not pleased, but reluctantly they agree. She goes off to teacher training camp, and ventures into the mountains to teach the campesinos reading and writing, wearing the uniform of the Conrado Benítez Brigade, armed only with her teachers manual, Alfabeticemos, Let’s be Literate, and a textbook for her students, Venceremos, We Shall Overcome. Paterson’s accessible and polished prose realistically tells the story of a girl’s joys, difficulties and fears during this remarkably successful campaign. Paterson has never shied away from life’s disappointment and pains in her fiction, and she doesn’t in this book, nevertheless, it’s an inspiring story of educational triumph.