Sunday, April 22, 2012

YA book response: Pedro and Me by Judd Winick

Book cover: "Pedro and Me" by Judd WinickI enjoyed Pedro and Me, a graphic-format memoir by Judd Winick, because it illuminated a television show that was part of the cultural literacy of the time.

During the time that “Real World” aired, I did not have access to MTV and do not remember viewing any episodes. But it seemed to be of prevalent interest among people around me.

I did a Google search of “Real World: San Francisco” today to augment my reading of Judd’s memoir.

A Wikipedia breakdown of the season’s episodes reads very much like a soap opera. It seems to center upon the antagonism between Pedro Zamora and Puck. I see references to incidents documented by Judd in his memoir but no reference to the close friendship between him, Pedro, Pam and later Cory.

I think the graphic format is well-suited to this memoir, which is presented in an episodic style that further breaks up delineated chapters. It resembles a blog in which these stand-alone entries explore a single subject: “The Little Things,” “Pam,” “Small Problems,” etc.

The black-and-white style enhances the story by seeming to add dignity.

Altogether, I would encourage this memoir being included in a Young Adult collection. Through Pedro’s presentations, the reader is exposed to a frank and potentially lifesaving discussion of how HIV/AIDS is spread and what a person can do for protection and emotional health.

Compiled for LIBT 118, Connecting Adolescents with Literature and Libraries

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