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Nelson Mandela's autobiography, LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, offers a glimpse into the mind of a great leader, admired across the globe for his dedication to the struggles against apartheid in South Africa. Now the youngest readers can discover the remarkable story of Mandela's long walk from ordinary village boy, to his dynamic leadership of the African National Congress, to his many long years in prison-and, at last, his freedom and astonishing rise to become the leader of his country.
About the Author
CHRIS VAN WYK was born in Soweto, South Africa. A writer of poetry, books for children and teenagers, short stories, and novels, he is best known for his best-selling memoir SHIRLEY, GOODNESS AND MERCY. Today he lives in Johannesburg.
Born in Cape Town, PADDY BOUMA taught at the University of Stellenbosch until 2006 and has exhibited and published widely. She lives in the Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch.
Reading Group Guide
Questions for Discussion
1. Nelson Mandela writes about freedom. To him freedom means being able to vote. He believes that if you can vote, you can help decide who will rule your country and how. What does freedom mean to your students? Is voting the only form of freedom? Ask your students to write down what freedom means to them. Have them create posters expressing their feelings about freedom.
2. As a boy, Nelson Mandela was known as "Troublemaker." As he grew up, there were probably many who believed he lived up to this name. Have your students find examples of his "troublemaking" and why he chose to act that way. An example would be his refusal to sit on the student council because not enough students had voted. Have the class discuss if it is ever right to be a "troublemaker."
3. What is a hero? Who are your students' heroes? Have a discussion about fictional heroes in books, movies, television, and comics as well as real-life heroes. What qualities do most heroes share? Have them measure Nelson Mandela's life against those qualities.