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on 2 February 2003
"Peaceful Protest: The Life of Nelson Mandela" is a collaboration between folk artist Malcah Zeldis and her daughter, author Yona Zeldis McDonough. Of course Mandela is one of the most respected figures of the last twenty years, having been a "prisoner of conscience" in South Africa from 1963 to 1990 before being released and becoming the first black president of the democratic Republic of South Africa. For his dedication to a peaceful solution to the apartheid policy of his native land, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize. This biography for younger readers covers Mandela's entire life, from the childhood when Buti Mandela was given the name "Nelson" by a schoolteacher to his retirement from public life in 1999. Arrested for his anti-apartheid beliefs and activities, Mandela was offered his freedom if he would leave the country, a condition which he refused. When Mandela became South Africa's first elected black leader he was committed to true democratic ideals rather than simply reversing his country's policy of apartheid. Throughout the book the focus on Mandela's life does reflect the title's idea of "Peaceful Protest."
The biography is both informative and respectful, although it does gloss over some of the problems in Mandela's life; his divorce is mentioned in a chronology of his life appearing in the back of the book, but there is no explanation offered. The artwork by Zeldis is quite colorful and done in the primitive style of folk art. I agree with the comment that providing the characters with different colored noses (Mandela's is orange) at the very least looks quite strange. The fact that not all of the white characters appear with different colored noses (usually reddish when they do) does bring up some troubling questions, but my concern is that this artistic distinctiveness makes the blacks in these paintings look less than human. However, that idea is most difficult to reconcile with the book's text. Then again, maybe young kids will not bat at eye at this artwork and see it as similar to something they themselves might do. In that case the worst thing that might happen is that it causes a spirited class discussion or an interesting talk between parent and child. For now I will give the artist the benefit of the doubt and resolve my judgment in favor of the text.
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on 23 March 2012
1)This book is about Nelson Mandela and his long journey to freedom and rights for black people. All the pictures are bright and colourful too.
My favourite page is page 12 because it shows you how prisoners worked all day.
The glossary is on page 17 but there are no contents or index.
The layout is a picture on every page and also paragraphs.
It has rather hard spellings.
The pictures are 10 out of 10 for me because they are really creative and imaginative .
Over all it's a very good and interesting book.

2)The book is about Nelson Mandela who put his life in danger for black people's rights. The layout of the book isn't the best but the pictures are wonderful.
I think that the book is maybe too long and has words that younger children might not understand. To find the glossary it is the last page.
I think its ok for a class to read. I give it 30 out of 40. By Georgia J aged 9

3)This book is about Nelson Mandela and his journey through peace and rights for black people and how black people are treated.
My favourite page is when he wins the Nobel Peace Prize because he went through a lot of trouble and then it all ends happily ever after.
The drawings are very good so is the layout. The bad thing is that there is too much writing. By Ethan S aged 10
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