Gormley, Beatrice Nelson Mandela: South African Revolutionary, 237 pgs. Aladdin (Simon), 2015. $17.99. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG. Nonfiction.
Nelson Mandela was the symbol for antiapartheid in South Africa. This simple biography follows him from his childhood, through his growing activism, his years imprisoned on Robben Island, his eventual election as president of South Africa, and finally his death at age 95.
The book includes a timeline and a glossary at the back. I thought the author did a wonderful job of telling one man’s incredibly complex story in a concise manner that will be easy for a young adult reader to understand. The book is exactly what it claims to be—the story of Nelson Mandela—and it relates his story without becoming overly political or biased in any way. It is written in a style more appropriate for a middle school audience, but the book would be acceptable for a high school audience as well. The book earns its PG rating for the mention of some of the violence and ugliness surrounding apartheid.
MS—ESSENTIAL; HS—ADVISABLE. Reviewer: TC