Saturday, January 17, 2009

Peaceful Protest: The Life of Nelson Mandela

Peaceful Protest: The Life of Nelson Mandela

Written by: Yona Zeldis McDonough
Illustrated by: Malcah Zeldis

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"This easy-to-read but engaging biography introduces the life and deeds of one of the 20th century's most important leaders. Born the son of a Thembu chief, Mandela spent 27 years in a South African prison before becoming the "first elected black leader" of that nation. McDonough focuses more on Mandela's early years and the development of his political beliefs than on his later life and briefer role as president. He is presented as a resolute student and family man who was determined to fight apartheid. Facts are stated simply, and the drama of his life comes through without sentimentality or rancor.

Zeldis's brightly colored folk-art illustrations reflect her subject's life and struggle with candid simplicity. When the illustrator depicts Mandela reclining in the cramped quarters of an unusually tiny jail cell, she clearly portrays both his physical discomfort and the greater injustice of his imprisonment. A hand-drawn map of South Africa appears on the endpapers. A worthwhile addition for all collections in need of accessible introductory biographies."

School Library Journal Review

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