An extremely readable biography of the Burmese leader based on personal interviews with Aung San Suu Kyi and others in Burma. Stewart offers interesting details about the cultural and emotional underpinnings of her subject, who won the 1991 Nobel Prize for Peace while under house arrest. Children who have grown up taking democracy for granted may be appalled by the sort of things that go on, even in this day and age, when powerful government officials want to silence dissent. Yet, the courage, strength and continuing struggle of Kyi and her people should also impress them.
Every era needs its heroes, and Aung San Suu Kyi is certainly one. Daughter of revered Burmese patriots, she won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her work to establish democracy in her homeland. Her quiet persistence, personal courage, and nonviolent example are inspiring. Stewart's biography goes into considerable detail about the background and history of politics in Burma. Since this is recounted rather than analyzed, the eyes of the average young reader will probably glaze over. Stewart's approach to her subject's personal life and career is uniformly adulatory: a few warts might have made Aung San Suu Kyi seem less remote. One wishes that she had occasionally fought with her brothers or skipped class! On the whole, this is an acceptable if not exceptional biography that will attract browsers as well as report writers. An earlier title for young adults is Prisoner for Peace: Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's Struggle for Democracy (Morgan Reynolds, 1994/VOYA April 1995) by John Parenteau. Freedom from Fear (Viking, 1991), a collection of Aung San Suu Kyi's writings also will be of interest to admirers. Index. Photos. VOYA Codes: 2Q 2P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
Gr 7-10This is an interesting, easy-to-read biography of the leader who, despite her politically active background, lived a peaceful scholar's life in England until she returned to Burma to care for her ailing mother in 1988. Suu Kyi became involved in the great resistance movement for democracy in her homeland, which eventually led to her house arrest from 1989-1995. She became an inspiration to her people and ultimately was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Stewart emphasizes that democracy has not been fully achieved in Burma and that Suu Kyi's resolve continues to give hope to her country. Full-color and black-and-white photos add much to this inspiring biography, which presents more personal information on Suu Kyi and her family than John Parenteau's Prisoner for Peace (M. Reynolds, 1994). A fine introduction to the current quest for change in Burma.Judy R. Johnston, Auburn High School, WA
A solid and informative entry in the Newsmakers Biographies series. Almost from birth Aung San Suu Kyi was involved in the political movement to free Burma from first the British and later from a series of corrupt and repressive regimes. Her father, a general in the Burmese army during WW II, was a prime mover in the struggle to free his country from the British and had just about come to terms with them when he was brutally assassinated. Having lost both her father and any hope of freedom, Suu Kyi resolved to carry on in his place. Stewart covers Suu Kyi's marriage and travels, her experience on the world political scene, the events that took her back to Rangoon in 1988, and the reasons that she remains there, now the recipient of the Nobel Prize for peace, to this day. The tone is admiring but balanced in this sturdy, well-researched volume, illustrated with both full-color and black-and-white photographs.