Pedro and me
In this powerful and captivating graphic novel, Winick, a professional cartoonist and cast member of MTV's The Real World 3: San Francisco, pays tribute to his Real World housemate and friend Pedro Zamora, an AIDS activist and educator who died of the disease in 1994. Striking just the right balance of cool and forthrightness sure to attract a broad cross section of teens, twenty-somethings and beyond, Winick describes the special bond he developed with Zamora and shares some of his own journey to enlightenment about AIDS awareness. From Winick's initial preconceptions about the disease to the ultimate moments of heartbreaking loss, the author bravely invites readers into a life-altering experience. The result is never mawkish: Winick speaks of his friend not with otherworldly awe, but with palpable love and warmth and profound admiration. Readers unfamiliar with the graphic novel genre would do well to start with this title. Winick imbues deceptively simple black-and-white comic-strip art with a full spectrum of emotion, and his approach is particularly adept at conveying Zamora's mind-set; for instance, a series of partial views of Zamora driving, just after he's received the news that he's HIV positive, communicates Zamora's anxiety and confusion. Throughout, Winick depicts Zamora as a vital force, a tireless teacher using frank language to relate facts about how people contract the virus that causes AIDS, how they can prevent it and how they can live with it. An innovative and accessible approach to a difficult subject. Ages 14-up.
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