Children's LiteratureMohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a quiet, unassuming, self-denying, religious, compassionate man who changed the lives of millions of people. Using only nonviolent means, he brought about sweeping social and political upheaval and inspired other contemporary leaders, such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. to do the same. Gandhi, the fourth child of an uneducated local government official and his fourth wife, was born in a small, poor seaport town. He was married at age 13; during the next ten years, he struggled through college and studied law in England. Gandhi struggled to find legal work in India, and moved his family, which soon included four sons, to South Africa. It became the turning point of his life. Ms. Heinrichs competently discusses the life and times of this outstanding human being. Unfortunately, the text is too short; the author has had to select from a huge amount of material and, therefore, can include only the highlights of his life. The reader gets a sense of his greatness, but is left with a rather dry text that lacks the anecdotes and interesting tidbits necessary to enliven any subject. Mahatma Gandhi deserves more. The many photographs are a welcome addition, as are the timeline, bibliography and list of Internet sites. The book is part of "Trailblazers of the Modern World" series. 2001, World Almanac Library, $26.60. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Ellen R. Butts
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-7-Heinrichs opens with an explanation of her subject's importance in 20th-century history, informing readers of Gandhi's commitment to nonviolence, his dedication to his Hindu religion, as well as his ability to change the world despite his humble appearance and serene presence. The man's early life, his family and background, and his studies in England are recounted, followed by his work in South Africa and his return to India. Readers learn about his marriage and family and his rise to power. The many imprisonments, his dedication to a free India, and his connection to the common people are clearly and simply explained. The book ends with Gandhi's assassination and then offers examples of others, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., who followed his principles. Straightforward text and lots of photographs offer readers additional information. This book lacks the compelling insight that Leonard Everett Fisher's Gandhi (Atheneum, 1995) offers, but is a serviceable addition.-Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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