Lilliputian Review: Pedro and Me

From the Publisher: Pedro Zamora changed lives.When the HIV-positive AIDS educator appeared on MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco, he taught millions of viewers about being gay and living with AIDS. Pedro’s roommate on the show was Judd Winick, who created Pedro and Me to honor Pedro Zamora, his friend and teacher and an unforgettable human being. First published in 2000, Pedro and Me was a graphic novel pioneer. Its moving portrait of friendship and its urgent message have already reached thousands of people. Now, Pedro’s story is reintroduced to today’s graphically focused culture with a gorgeous, eye-catching new cover and a foreword from Judd.

My Take: Aside from the fact that the art is too cartoon-y for my liking and the prose is very, very simple (Pedro and Me won an award for appealing to reluctant readers), Pedro and Me is a moving story of both friendship and having the courage to change a world that doesn't quite accept your existence.

Pedro, who had left behind half of his family in Cuba, whose mother died from cancer, who was diagnosed before he was 20 years old, made it his mission that others should never have to suffer his fate. Despite the taboos of being gay and HIV+ in early 90's America, he sought to honestly educate students about AIDS. His fight played a large part in erasing irrational fears about both gay and HIV+ people.

Pedro and Me was originally released in 2000 and was just re-issued. While I think it's important that this book was brought back for a new generation, the book is also simply wonderful to read as a story of friendship and...I don't know how to say this without being corny but...making the utmost of the lemons that life delivers.

If this book doesn't make you cry, you are 100% made of stone.

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