BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Cuba: My Revolution by Inverna Lockpez, illustrated by Dean Haspiel, colored by José Villarrubia

As the world welcomes 1959, 17-year-old Sonya is a hopeful young woman, despite the violent chaos that threatens her home city of Havana. Her boyfriend has already fled Cuba for Miami with his family, but Sonya is determined to contribute to the coming revolution by postponing her dreams of becoming an artist and training to become a doctor.

Young and passionate, she eschews danger, proving her loyalty to the Revolution. She’s there at the Bay of Pigs, where the carnage is shocking – but even more so who she unexpectedly, shockingly faces. Despite her zealous dedication, she’s caught in a heinous web of accusations and misunderstandings that nearly destroys her. Over the next seven years, Sonya survives a tortuous journey –physical, intellectual, emotional – from dedication to disillusionment, as Castro and his followers seize power, only to betray the loyal citizens whose support placed him in charge.

Starkly drawn in mostly black, white, and grey by Eisner-nominated Dean Haspiel with the single affecting, haunting addition of shades of red colored by José Villarrubia, Cuba is based on artist Inverna Lockpez’s own personal revolution, exorcising “aspects of [her] life [she] preferred to forget because they were so painful to remember.” Shocking, wrenching, illuminating, Lockpez’s testimony is both mourning for too many lives lost, history erased, society betrayed, and yet an undeniable acknowledgement and celebration of resilience, resistance, and a promise of renewal.

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2010

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