Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Nelson Mandela

Title: Nelson Mandela
Author: Kadir Nelson
# Of Pages: 40
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2013
Source: Library
Level: Children’s (Pre-School - 4th Grade)
Rating: 4 Hearts


(From Goodreads)

One day when Nelson Mandela was nine years old, his father died and he was sent from his village to a school far away from home, to another part of South Africa. In Johannesburg, the country's capital, Mandela saw fellow Africans who were poor and powerless. He decided then that he would work to protect them. When the government began to keep people apart based on the color of their skin, Mandela spoke out against the law and vowed to fight hard in order to make his country a place that belonged to all South Africans.

Kadir Nelson tells the story of Mandela, a global icon, in poignant verse and glorious illustrations. It is the story of a young boy's determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country by believing in equality for people of all colors. Readers will be inspired by Mandela's triumph and his lifelong quest to create a more just world.

My Verdict
I know I don't usually review children's books on here but since this one was told in verse, I made an exception =) 

The biography of Nelson Mandela and his role in Apartheid is brought to life by author and illustrator, Kadir Nelson, through free verse and beautiful paintings that are rich in color and large in scale. A fellow blogger reviewed this book and when I heard it was told in verse I knew I absolutely HAD to read it!

It’s very unique to have a biography written in free verse but I think it worked really well and will help to keep kids interested. This book is a great resource for kids to learn about an important time in history but also one that I think they will thoroughly enjoy reading as well.

“Nelson stood proudly
with the wind at his back
and spoke to a colorful sea of people.
‘We must forget our terrible past
and build a better future for South Africa,
Let us continue to fight for justice
and walk the last mile to freedom.’ "


  1. A biography written in verse? That's definately somethigng different

  2. I actually don't know anything about Nelson Mandela other than he went to jail for a bunch of years because he fought for equal rights. I didn't know it was because people were separating families because the difference of the colors of their skin. That makes no sense. Isn't that like Rwanda?
    Ha! - it's kind of funny that the author's last name is Nelson (;

  3. Amanda, I am so happy you loved the book as much as I did. This one will sit permanently on my bookshelf.


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