Thursday, November 30, 2017

My Brigadista Year - an audiobook review

My Brigadista Year
by Katherine Paterson
Read by Frankie Corzo
Brilliance Audio, 2017

In 1961, following the Cuban Revolution, Cuba was largely populated by illiterate, rural farmers. Whatever may be your thoughts on Fidel Castro and the often brutal results of the revolution, it is difficult to be unimpressed by Castro's Literacy Campaign, one of his first initiatives. Using hundreds of thousands of young volunteers, he embarked on a one-year plan to bring literacy to the entire country.  Most of the volunteers were young, teenage girls from Havana and other large cities, who traveled to rural areas to live and work with farming families by day, and educate them by night. Amazingly, he succeeded. My Brigadista Year is a fictionalized, epistolary account of one volunteer.

Note: The current literacy rate in Cuba is 99.8%, according to the CIA World Factbook, and Cuba continues to have one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Reliable, current statistics on the US literacy rates are not readily available.

Below, author Katherine Paterson discusses her book.

My copy of My Brigadista Year was provided by AudioFile Magazine. *Edited to add video(oops).

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