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Children's LiteratureThis biography of Fidel Castro is much needed because it offers interesting information about a man people often hear of but know little about. Castro was born in 1926 into a rich Cuban family. Although he was from a privileged background, Castro was aware of his country's problems. From an early age, Fidel was a rebellious child full of energy and determination to do what he wanted. He was transferred from school to school due to bad behavior, but managed to graduate from Havana University with a law degree. He had also become involved in politics. Fidel thought the Cuban government was corrupt and the treatment of the masses unfair, so he set out to change the situation. In the beginning, he was not a communist, but as time went on, his thoughts and actions turned in this direction. When Fulgencio Batista took control of Cuban in 1952, Castro knew Batista wasn't good for the Cuban people. Eventually, Castro and his revolutionaries fought against Batista's control and won. In 1959, Batista knew his government rule was over and he resigned, fleeing to the Dominican Republican. Fidel Castro soon took complete control. Cuba is the only communist nation in the western half of the world, and it has been led by a communist leader for over forty years. Author Platt examines other areas of Castro's world such as The Bay of Pigs, The Missile Crisis, Castro's estrangement from the United States, and much more. Excellent sidebars are included as well as good black-and-white photographs, a glossary, further reading list, and timeline. This is a good book for anyone interested in learning more about Cuba and its leader, Fidel Castro. 2003, Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, Ages 12 up.
—Della A. Yannuzzi