“Eloquent and assured.”
Katherine Paterson has written 16 novels for children. She has twice won the Newbery Medal (Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved) and the National Book Award (The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins). Her new book My Brigadista Year follows a Cuban teenager as she volunteers for Fidel Castro’s national literacy campaign and travels into the impoverished countryside to teach others 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. 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 timeline of Cuban history.
“Bridge to Terabithia is a difficult but essential part of the modern canon of children’s literature, and should not be missed.”
A book signing will follow the program in the Children’s Department of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Books will be available for sale before and after the lecture from Mystery Lovers Bookshop.