Nelson Mandela: South African Revolutionary (A Real-Life Story)
Written by Beatrice Gormley
Aladdin, 2015, Ages 11+
Nelson Mandela: South African Revolutionary (A Real-Life Story) is a biography detailing the life of Nelson Mandela. Mandela was born in 1918 in South Africa. He went to the University College of Fort Hare where he showed interest in politics, specifically equality. Mandela became part of the ANC, the African National Congress, an anti-apartheid group. Mandela was elected president but shortly after was arrested for communism and was later sentenced to a life in prison. From prison, Mandela spoke with the President of South Africa and then was released from prison after serving 27 years. He shared a Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de Klerk. In 1994, Mandela was elected president in the first democratic election. Mandela is one of the most well-known revolutionaries, bringing about great change for South Africa.
The author's writing style is non-fiction and factual. She provides readers with clear, accurate facts and includes sources in the back of the novel. Her writing style is very fluid and easy to read. She uses appropriate vocabulary and grammar and includes a glossary in the back of the book. The author's description of Mandela's time in prison allows readers to identify Mandela as a real person. "For Nelson Mandela, solitary confinement was harder to bear than the lack of food. There was nothing to do, nothing to see except the four walls of the cell, and worst of all, no one to talk to. He lost track of time, and his mind began to play tricks on him. He was glad if a cockroach crawled out of a crack, because even an insect was some kind of company." The descriptive passages provide the reader with an idea of what life in prison was really like.
I really enjoyed this book! I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the anti-apartheid movement and Nelson Mandela. This book can be used in conjunction with teaching about the anti-apartheid movement in classrooms. Beatrice Gormley tells the life story of Nelson Mandela in a very pleasing way. I believe that readers will identify with Mandela's kindness and peaceful ideals. I recommend this to anyone over the age of 11.
Reviewed by LRA