PEDRO AND ME by Judd Winick
Kirkus Star

PEDRO AND ME

Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cartoonist Winick paints an emotional, graceful portrait of the life of Pedro Zamora, his roommate on the forerunner to today’s reality-TV craze, MTV’s The Real World. When the seven castmembers first met in San Francisco in early 1994, they knew one of them was HIV-positive, but not which one. Winick soon discovered that it was his chosen roommate, openly gay, Cuban-born Pedro. Wasting little time here on his own initial concerns, Winick delves into some subtle, very effective myth-bashing regarding AIDS and HIV, mostly through the straightforward, ebullient words of Pedro, who was diagnosed when he was 17 and started working as an AIDS educator soon after. Winick leavens the chronicle of Pedro’s illness with his romance with—and subsequent on-air marriage to—Sean, Winick’s own blossoming love for a fellow castmember, funny injections of camp (“ ‘How was I going to say it without saying it?’ . . . ‘I could really go for some fruit. Speaking of fruit . . .’ ”), and a taste of the behind-the-scenes angst of living life in front of a TV audience for six months. The depiction of Pedro’s spiral toward death, at the age of 22, is difficult, but ultimately uplifting, to read. The format—a memoir in the form of a graphic novel—is enticing, with images that are effusive and alive on the page and dialogue bubbles full of language spoken in unsparing terms and teaching some urgent lessons. Engrossing, wise, and impossibly brave. (Graphic memoir. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-8050-6403-6
Page count: 187pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2000




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