My Brigadista Year


Lora benefits from a scholarship to a successful secondary school despite her family’s impoverished circumstances. Now she is driven by a need to use her learning in Fidel Castro’s campaign. It’s 1961 and Cuba battles, with General Baptista’s US supported forces seeking to over turn Castro’s nationalist army. Castro has a plan to educate the rural communities. Armies of brigadista students,as young as 13- year old Lora, are to labour on the farms, and teach the farmers and labourers how to read.

My Brigadista Year‘ is a compelling story. Somehow Katherine Paterson has us ‘hearing’ Lora’s voice. We are convinced by Lora, from her desperation to enrol as a brigadista, confession of family feelings, to the pride and fear she feels during her mission.

I recommend ‘My Brigadista Year’ to readers aged from about 12 years. Those who love historical books, and books with an authentic voice will appreciate this wonderful story. This is splendid title is by the  writer of the classic,  Bridge to Terabithia


My Brigadista Year

Katherine Paterson


Lora’s grandmother understands Lora’s need to participate in Fidel Castro’s reading scheme. It is 1961 and Baptista’s puppet government is at war with Castro’s rebel forces. Fidel Castro’s initiative to educate rural communities is a key to his fight against American backed forces. However, this plan involves transplanting school students, like Lora, to remote and dangerous areas. We join Lora in ‘My Brigadista Year.


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