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Gandhi: The March to the Sea
     

Gandhi: The March to the Sea

by Alice B. McGinty, Thomas Gonzalez (Illustrator)
 

Mohandas Gandhi’s 24-day March to the Sea, from March 12 to April 5, 1930, was a pivotal moment in India’s quest to become an independent country no longer ruled by Great Britain. With over 70 marchers, Gandhi walked from his hometown near Ahmedabab to the sea coast by the village of Dandi. The march was a non-violent means to protest the taxes that

Overview

Mohandas Gandhi’s 24-day March to the Sea, from March 12 to April 5, 1930, was a pivotal moment in India’s quest to become an independent country no longer ruled by Great Britain. With over 70 marchers, Gandhi walked from his hometown near Ahmedabab to the sea coast by the village of Dandi. The march was a non-violent means to protest the taxes that Great Britain had imposed on salt – not the salt that the Indians could get from the sea, but the salt that Great Britain forced them to buy. Gandhi believed that peaceful protests were an effective way to challenge British law, and his peaceful but ultimately successful movement became known as Satyagraha.

In free verse echoing the marching rhythm of Gandhi’s historic journey, Alice
McGinty recreates Gandhi’s famous march, enhanced by Thomas Gonzalez’s powerful paintings that capture the determination of a people longing to be free.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
McGinty crafts a subtle yet expansive portrait of Mohandas Gandhi, centering on his leadership during a 24-day march to perform the forbidden act of taking salt from the Arabian Sea (a response to the British government’s control of resources). Melodic free verse ruminates on the symbolism behind Gandhi’s actions: “With his own hands,/ Gandhi draws water,/ from the Untouchables’ well,/ to wash his dusty body/ cool and clean.... He tells Muslims, Hindus, and Untouchables/ that they are different but the same./ India needs them all/ to work as one/ for freedom.” The great majority of Gonzalez’s lavish paintings emphasize modesty and quiet integrity: Gandhi walks the dry earth, barefoot and in solidarity with India’s poor. A striking profile of a luminous human rights activist. Ages 6–up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
This account of Gandhi's peaceful struggle against unjust laws and taxes in 1930's India is told using a lyrical fairly spare text. Rather than trying to explain the complicated history, the account opens "Just before sunrise, a small, brown skinned man takes a step toward the salty seas many miles away...each stride they take, each law they break: Peaceful steps toward freedom". The beautifully rendered colored pencil and ink illustrations by Thomas Gonzalez do much to set the context in India under British Colonial rule. The use of the present tense, along with repeated references to the fight for freedom establishes a strong relationship with the current issues of social justice and equitable use of natural resources (such as salt). Classrooms and individuals who are concerned with these issues should be sure to add this book to their libraries, taking time to read it through more than once. The foreword and endnotes give more information to help address the questions and comments that are sure to be triggered by this reflection on the complex question as to when breaking a law can be the right, courageous thing to do. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
Kirkus Reviews
McGinty's gentle, poetic picture book, awash with sunrises, salt, sand and sensory images, tells an intense present-tense story of Mohandas Gandhi's 24-day march to the sea in 1930 in search of freedom and peaceful change for the people of India. The bespectacled, contemplative face of Gandhi that appears on the front cover of the book sets the mood for the story, emphasizing his determination. His goal is to challenge 200 years of British rule by breaking the law prohibiting Indians from collecting salt from the sea. His march changes more than just the attitudes of the British. Gandhi sometimes walks alone and at other times leads throngs of people from a variety of castes. When he reaches out to the untouchables and even washes in their well water, "[d]isgust and fear / brew like storms / in the villagers' watching eyes." Remaining undeterred and true to his faith, Gandhi marches on. Gonzalez's rich mixed-media illustrations shift perspectives often to focus on the important elements in each scene: Bare feet and dirty white trousers hint at the difficulty of the journey; faceless crowds that melt into the horizon suggest the size of Gandhi's following. An imperfect marriage of text and illustrations sometimes creates confusion more than clarity, as when elaborately dressed female dancers suddenly appear on the road with the walkers. Despite this, the book tells a story worth remembering. This walk with Gandhi is time well-spent. (Picture book. 6-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781477816448
Publisher:
Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
04/02/2013
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
411,894
Product dimensions:
11.70(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Alice B. McGinty has written on diverse subjects, from a child’s experiences in kindergarten (Eliza’s Kindergarten Surprise and Eliza’s New Pet) to an award winning biography of Charles Darwin, Darwin: With Glimpses into His Private Journal and Letters (Booklist Top Ten Biography for Youth, Orbis Picture Honor Book). She enjoys visiting schools, teaching writing workshops, and traveling. She went to India and retraced Gandhi’s march. The mother of two grown children, she lives with her husband in Urbana, Illinois.

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