My Brigadista Year
In an engrossing historical novel, the Newbery Medal-winning author of Bridge to Terebithia follows a young Cuban teenager as she travels into the impoverished Cuban countryside to teach others how to read. When thirteen-year-old Lora 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. Lora 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 Lora is stubborn: didn’t her parents teach her to share what she has with someone in need? 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. Inspired by true accounts, the novel includes an author’s note and a timeline of Cuban history.
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