My Brigadista Year was set in Cuba, I was excited. I knew I was going to read it, because for one, it was Katherine Paterson! And I was SO excited about the skype visit at our middle school when she was in Pittsburgh last week so I wanted to read it and Stories of My Life before that day. Well, it turns out I got SO SICK on Friday and was sick until Wednesday morning. I was heartbroken to have missed the visit. I talked to the middle school librarian and she got to ask TWO questions of Ms. Paterson. One was what one year in her life would she live over again if she could. And Paterson was like, "Ohh! That is a good question!," and she went on to eliminate years that she wouldn't want to live over again, but she didn't really have one year that she would want to for sure. What a great, great question. And listening to Stories of My Life (for two days I have been trying to link this and it keeps crashing! I have NO idea why!) I can see why that would be hard for Paterson! The other question was is her new book available in Cuba? (It isn't yet but they are working on it.) That surprised me because I think it is a really balanced view. But I am not sure how balanced Cuba is these days. But there was a lot in this book that I didn't know about before I read it. One thing that surprised me is that Castro wanted to eliminate illiteracy in Cuba and by his organizing of Cubans, he did! It seems to me that in a true dictatorship, a dictator wouldn't want people to have that kind of power. I find it sadder to think that in our country we still have so many roadblocks to literacy for so many. And also in our country, reading was not allowed to be learned by those who were enslaved. Just very telling, indeed.
Anyway, I am so thankful that at least I got to read these great book and I hope that some day I will get to see Ms. Paterson again! But if I don't see her here, before one of us crosses the Jordan, I will surely see her there. What a great place Heaven will be!
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.