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Summary: This is a collection that profiles sixteen internationally recognized leaders who effect change through nonviolent means. Some of the leaders like Mohandas Gandhi, Lelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks are immediately recognizable. Some, like Charles Perkins and Aung San Suu Kyi are equally important figures whose contributions to humanity are not as well known. This is a nonfiction history of citizen-inspired, nonviolent activism.
Type of Reading: independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 11; read yourself: 13 and up
Interest Level: 12 and up
Reading Level: 8.1
Age of Child: Reviewed by a student at North Junior High School, St. Cloud, MN, as part of the Use Your ABCs program.
Young Reader Reaction: I picked this book because I've heard of Gandhi before, but I didn't know what he was famous for. After the first chapter, I wanted to learn more about Gandhi and the things he did. I did like this book. It was full of great stories and information. I learned so much from this one book.
Adult Reader Reaction: There is a lot to absorb and learn. With each chapter, I was struck by the bravery of these individuals. Pairing the events themselves with the mini-biography ("More to the Story") added a unique feature to the book. The author balances this exceptional set of biographies with examples of "leaderless" efforts, such as student activists in Tiananmen Square.
Pros: This is an inspired, enriching collection of stories that provides biography, history, and social activism and makes it accessible to middle-grade and high school students.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is an exceptional book with inspiring content.
Educational Themes: The information about nonviolent change/social activism is presented in vignette form. This format allows readers to explore, contrast, and compare their historical context. Given the number of events in the 1960s, a good question is "what do you think created this global movement?" There is also excellent biographical information that can promote deeper study.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 9.8. The Reading Tub, Inc. requested a publisher donation for this title. We wanted the opportunity to review this book for our audience.
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