My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson

My Brigadista Year

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 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....

Details My Brigadista Year

TitleMy Brigadista Year
Release DateOct 10th, 2017
PublisherCandlewick Press
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, Fiction

Reviews My Brigadista Year

  • Lola Reviewer
    3.5 stars. I found this story to be much more engaging than BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA from the same author, a book that struggled to keep my attention.Whereas MY BRIGADISTA YEAR had me at chapter one. It reads like a memoir. For me, this is a positive aspect, because I normally have an easy connection with characters that pour their hearts out on paper as though in a personal diary. I really could feel Lora’s voice as she narrated her adventures as ...
  • Ms. Yingling
    E ARC from NetgalleyLora's family is poor, but has a decent life in Havana in the late 1950s. Lora wants desperately to go to a better school, but her parents don't have money to send her. Her abuela, who is very forward thinking, offers Lora jewelry that she was saving for her and says she may sell it and use the money for school. Lora does. When she is 13, Lora decides to join the Literacy Brigadistas, which was an idea of Fidel Castro's to rai...
  • Brenda
    Originally posted at Log Cabin Library My Brigadista Year, tells the story of 13-year old Lora who volunteers to join a governmental army of literacy teachers tasked with teaching its citizens to read and write in Havana Cuba during the 1960's. Before Lora could enlist, she had to get her parents to sign a permission slip, which they were very hesitant to do. As the eldest of three siblings, Lora was partially responsible for watching over the yo...
  • Linda V
    Thank you Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.When Castro came into power he created a program to bring literacy to the entire country. With the help of volunteers he accomplishes this goal. The amazing part is that the volunteers were children, mostly ages thirteen to college age, but sometimes younger. All committed to a year, living away from their families, sometimes in dangerous situations. Katherine Paterson brings to li...
  • Jen Petro-Roy
    3.5 stars. I knew nothing about this period--so fascinating.
  • Sherry
    Fascinating story about an event I had no knowledge about whatsoever: Cuba’s year of defeating illiteracy in 1961.
  • Amber Webb
    My Brigadista Year by Paterson was an exceptional middle grade novel about the Cuban literacy crisis and a young girl's involvement in the solution. Children should read this novel to learn about and understand that challenges Cuba faced during this time and what children were asked to do for their country. In America, this book is an important read for children to see that no matter their age, they can and should stand up for what they believe i...
  • Kathy
    Wow! What a powerful book. I don't know much about Cuba's history, but the author's note and timeline at the end of this book helped fill me in on the basics. I couldn't put this down, historical fiction lovers will enjoy this book. I would recommend this to fifth-eighth graders.
  • Jennifer
    [I received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]From the award-winning author of "Bridge To Terabithia" and "Jacob Have I Loved", this fictional memoir is set during and shortly after the Cuban revolution, as seen through 13-year old Lora's eyes. While now most of the Western world views Fidel Castro as an evil dictator, at the time he was seen as a liberator by many of the Cuban people and the atmosph...
  • Lucy Aurea
    Love this book
  • Sandy Brehl
    Paterson's 2017 release will inform and inspire, as her many other novels have done. Other than the adjective “engrossing”, the synopsis from the publisher makes this one sound less than a page-turner. “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 tea...
  • Angie
    Lora and her family live fairly comfortably in Havana, Cuba. They aren't wealthy but Lora is able to go to a very good school in the city. Then Baptiste is overthrown and Fidel Castro comes in to power. One of Castro's initiatives is the quest to end illiteracy in Cuba. He recruits young people to be teachers in the country. Lora's family doesn't want her to do this, but she is determined to be a brigadista and do her part for her country. She is...
  • Linn Browning
    Promotional copy provided by Netgalley in return for a review.Final Rating: 4.5/5Plot: 4/5Characters: 5/5Writing: 5/5Newbery Award-winning author Katherine Paterson presents a historical fiction story from a bright young Cuban girl who volunteers to take part in the Cuban literacy campaign of 1961. Lora leaves her comfortable home in Havana to trek deep into the mountains to teach the compesinos, the farmers living in the countryside, to read and...
  • Michelle Kidwell
    My Brigadista Yearby Katherine PatersonCandlewick PressCandlewickChildren's FictionPub Date 10 Oct 2017 I am reviewing a copy of My Brigadista Year through Candelewick Press and Netgalley:In March of 1961 Lora is thirteen years old. Lora has barely been outside of Havanna and she now says she wants to join Premier Castro's army of young literacy teachers. Her Mother screeches and her Father roars like a lion when they learn of this. Just months b...
  • Kathie
    Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced ecopy of this book. All opinions are my own.MY BRIGADISTA YEAR is a fascinating look at Cuban history and the efforts put into eradicating illiteracy in the early 1960s. It tell the story of Lora, a thirteen-year-old girl who leaves her family to join the Conrado Benitez Brigadista, a group of individuals whose mission is to spread literacy to areas that have had no access to teachers and formal education. L...
  • Alyssa
    First of all, thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!3.5 stars (rounded up). My Brigadista Year is a charming story about a piece of history I had never heard about: The campaign against illiteracy lead by Fidel Castro. I really enjoyed learning about this part of history, and as someone who has been teaching literacy for about a year now I deeply appreciated the touching depiction about how Lora ta...
  • Meghan
    I never really know how to review books where I am clearly not the audience. For example, My Brigadista Year is marketed as Children's Fiction. Since I like kidlit (well, middle-grade and on more than picture books), I still request such books, but then I read them and am like this isn't for me, what am I supposed to say?Plot: Cuba, 1960s. Thirteen year old Lora becomes a literacy volunteer for Castro, going off from Havana into the hinterlands o...
  • Jen Naughton
    I read this in one sitting and as historical fiction is one of my favorite genres I enjoyed it. Lora decides to join the Literacy Brigadistas when she is 13, which was an idea of Fidel Castro's to raise the literacy rate and help the poorer, less educated people understand concepts in his new government. The brigadistas were mostly young girls who volunteered to go to the farms and teach the low-income families how to read. At first, just the wom...
  • Bruce
    This is a review of the Advance Reading Copy.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 t...
  • Martha
    Katherine Patterson's My Brigadista Year focuses on Cuba in 1961, the year Fidel Castro challenged his country to become 100 percent literate. In a nation full of farmers who were illiterate, there was no time for schooling. Yet an organized group of educators, some as young as Lora, the 13- year-old main character, joined together to meet the literacy challenge. Dangerous circumstances called for quick thinking and strong team work as the teache...
  • Jill
    I especially loved that the author, Katherine Paterson, was able to capture both the adult’s and child’s reactions to events. She exposed the reader to diversity, little known historical events (at least in my small corner of the U.S.) and, my favorite, the importance of education! I could not get enough of the palpable excitement Katherine emanated in her writing of the villagers. So many of the illiterate were excited for the opportunity to...
  • Lori
    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 ...
  • Sharon Lawler
    Patterson transports the reader to Cuba, 1961. It is a time when the dictator Batista has been driven from power, and revolutionary leader Castro is now leading the government. Soldiers from anti-Castro factions are l roaming the country, and Castro's literacy brigadistas are a target. Castro enlisted the youth to help Cuba achieve universal literacy, an goal that was achieved, and has allowed Cuba to have one of the highest literacy rates in the...
  • Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
    Despite being poor, Lora has received an education with help from her abulea. Deciding to put it to use, Lora joins the Literacy Brigadista as part of Castro’s movement to educate the poor in remote areas of Cuba. Chronicling Lora’s training and her experience, this fictional memoir contains an author’s note outlining the extensive research into a little known time period. A captivating, coming of age novel, with deep historical roots. Note...
  • Emilie
    I received an advanced copy of this book and, unlike 99 percent of the books mailed to my attention, I took it home. Katherine Paterson's "Bridge to Terabithia" is book that I read as a child and stuck with me. In reading "Brigadista," I was reminded of Paterson's skill as a writer. Paterson is a welcoming storyteller whose language and sentence structure is accessible to young readers, while still tackling complicated topics — in this case Cub...
  • Libby
    This historical novel, based on Fidel Castro's campaign to make Cuba a literate nation, follows city-bred Lora as she becomes part of the vast army of literate citizens recruited to teach those who've never had the opportunity to learn to read. In the hands of a lesser author, this could have been didactic and predictable, but Paterson has created realistic, appealing characters and tells this historic story with an appealing sense of immediacy.
  • Alyssa Schneyman
    My Brigadista Year is a powerful book. I don't know much about Cuba's history, but the author's note and timeline provided at the end of this book were quite helpful. I couldn't put this down, historical fiction lovers will enjoy this book.Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader copy.
  • Sean Kottke
    A fine middle-grade novel about the 1961 Cuban literacy campaign. The historical content is well done, and it does a fine job of demonstrating how the campaign impacted teachers and students alike with the twin goals of eliminating illiteracy and forging a more egalitarian socialist society.