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Nelson Mandela

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,845 Ratings  ·  336 Reviews
One day when Nelson Mandela was nine years old, his father died and he was sent from his village to a school far away from home, to another part of South Africa. In Johannesburg, Mandela saw fellow Africans who were poor and powerless. He decided then that he would work to protect them. When the government began to keep people apart based on the color of their skin, Mandel ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 2nd 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published August 28th 2012)
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Journey by Aaron BeckerThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew DaywaltThe Dark by Lemony SnicketFlora and the Flamingo by Molly IdleMr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter  Brown
2014 Mock Caldecott
15th out of 79 books — 223 voters
The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah HeiligmanOn a Beam of Light by Jennifer  BerneA Splash of Red by Jennifer Fisher BryantLocomotive by Brian FlocaWho Says Women Can't Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone
Childrens NonFiction 2013
7th out of 119 books — 40 voters

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Community Reviews

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I just happened to have this out from the library on the day Nelson Mandela died. It was the perfect way to explain his life to my kids.
Patricia Tilton
Mar 08, 2013 Patricia Tilton rated it it was amazing
Rolihlahla played barefooted on the grassy hills of Qunu. He fought boys with sticks and shot birds with slingshots. The smartest Madiba child of thirteen, he was the only one chosen for school. His new teacher would not say his Xhosa name. She called him Nelson instead.”

Synopsis: Nelson was nine years old when his father passed. His mother sent him to live with a powerful tribal chief, where he could continue his studies. He learned stories from the elders about old Africa, where people lived
Apr 08, 2014 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a moving tribute to one of the most respected leaders of the twentieth century. The narrative is short and does not overwhelm the reader with details, but gives a concise account of Nelson Mandela's life, highlighting the most major and life-changing events. The author's note at the end offers a bit more detail, but this book is useful more for providing an inspiring message than as a reference book.

The illustrations are simply amazing and really capture the facial expressions and emoti
This is an amazing book! The illustrations are illustrious and tells the story of Mandela as a child and how he grew up to show character and courage in the midst of the chaotic norms that had been accepted in South Africa-apartheid. Nelson grows up to find his mate Winnie Mandela and takes a stand for his people, he goes to jail, but over time his fight is won because of his courage, bravery and values that he never gave up on. It's an extraordinary story that children will be engaged and curio ...more
A beautiful picture book biography of an important man. Kadir Nelson's paintings take readers into a foreign land and give them a unique view of the key events in Mandela's life.

The writing is strong and uses carefully chosen words to explain difficult concepts such as apartheid. The result is a moving book that can be shared with young children.

Following the story is a more detailed bio on Mandela and a bibliography. The only thing missing in this book for me was a glossary. There were a numbe
Sue Conolly
Nov 15, 2015 Sue Conolly rated it really liked it
I read this book today as a way of feeling positive about the world.

Both words and illustrations by Kadir Nelson were woven expertly throughout the book to create this story. Words are made easy to read in some places (white on dark background, dark on light background), and the author makes you work to read words in other places (the sign on the beach has letters that are large and prominent but the reader has to dig into the valley of the book to see the whole message, the dark words on the da
Dec 09, 2015 Annikka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Summarize the book:

This is a picture book that tells the life of Nelson Mandela. The book follows Nelson Mandela from the time he was 9 and sent away to attend school, the start of his fight against apartheid, to his time in prison, and finally to him becoming the first black president of South Africa.

Identify the characteristics from the text that support the specific genre:

The story of Nelson Mandela is a biography because it is the story of his life written by another person. The book is bea
Nicole Marzan
Dec 01, 2014 Nicole Marzan rated it it was amazing
Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson is a biography told in a narrative format. The story begins with Nelson as a young old boy playing "on the grassy hills of Qunu." The narrator says that Nelson was the smartest of all the Madiba children and was the only one chosen to go to school. When Nelson's father dies, he is sent to live with a "powerful chief" so he can continue his education. Nelson learns about what old Africa was like before their land was taken over by Europe. Nelson then studied to be a ...more
Stefanie Skrdla
1.) An opening for the book (Fountas & Pinnell, 2006, p. 226)
2.) Identify the 2-3 opening moves that are incorporated in the opening

1. Nelson Mandela was born with the name Rolihlahla, which has an interesting meaning. The name Rolihlahla translates to "troublemaker." From his photo on the cover of this book, would you guess that this man is ornery and stirs up trouble? If not, how do you think disproved the meaning of his name and became one of the people in our study of influential figur
Relying on powerful words and visually stunning illustrations, Kadir Nelson traces events in the life of Nelson Mandela, called Rolihlahla as a child. He includes moments that will appeal to children; for instance, how his name was changed when he went to school, the loss of his father, and being sent far from home to study. Readers will be swept away by the young man's determination to make a change in South Africa, influenced by the words of his ancestors and the elders and his own innate sens ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Ann rated it it was ok
It made me smile to see this book on my library's holding shelves with my name on it. I love Kadir Nelson's art and there was Nelson Mandela's big, beautiful face. However, the book was a disappointment. It's too simplistic and tells a tale that is more folklore than truth. Reading this book, you wouldn't know that the ANC was armed when Nelson Mandela was arrested. (I found this out when I worked with Amnesty International in college. I was distressed to learn that the world's most famous polit ...more
Mar 25, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it
I absolutely love the illustrations! Kadir Nelson does an incredible job illustrating books and evoking emotion. While I enjoyed the text, I was left wanting more. Particularly because my children have heard of him but know very little about him, I wanted more details about his life and what he accomplished. There is an author's note at the back that provided some more details, but I wanted a timeline and even more details.
Nov 27, 2013 Alexandria rated it it was amazing
Another beautifully illustrated book by Kadir Nelson, this is the biography of Nelson Mandela; a man who was determined to change South Africa by seeking equality for people of all color. Prior to reading this book I didn’t know much about him, so I was really looking forward to reading it and I’m so glad I did! The reader is taken through Nelson Mandela’s life from beginning to end, and boy was that a remarkable life. The illustrations along with the text are packed with so much power and emoti ...more
Danish Gondal
Feb 09, 2015 Danish Gondal rated it it was amazing
when you climb up a great hill you realize that there are many more hills to climb , life is a journey not a destination and in this journey we encounter great hurdles which needs to be overcome before we get to the goal ,never to give up,tenacity,determination and faith one can achieve great success in life .Wonderful biography
Kadir Nelson's illustrations are always 5 stars, but the biography was only 3 because it just was too bare-boned for me. I wanted more.
Dec 30, 2014 Margaux rated it it was amazing
I Can't even. Kadir Nelson is a god.
Apr 12, 2016 Rachael rated it it was amazing
Nelson Mandela written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson told the life of Mandela. Focusing less on the entire span of his life, and more on the details of his work, this story is a good one to refer to for a child to learn more about Mandela. It spoke on apartheid and how Mandela sought to end it. It spoke on his life in prison and explained why he was later released. South Africa went through a lot of struggles to get to where they are today and Mandela played a large role in progressing the cou ...more
Apr 11, 2016 Kalynn rated it liked it
This book is about Nelson Mandela and his journey through his life as a rights advocate. He was sent away to live with a chief at 9 years old. He went to school there and was exposed to poor Africans and he decided he wanted to help them. He become a lawyer to help the people who couldn't help themselves. Europeans took over South Africa and the started a new government called Apartheid. This meaning separation of Africans. Nelson stood up against it and had a group of followers behind him. He s ...more
Anais Gilder
Apr 11, 2016 Anais Gilder rated it really liked it
The book is a biography of the life of Nelson Nelson Mandela. This is an authentic biography. It uses factual evidence from history in order to tell the story of Nelson. The story starts off by showing how Nelson was sent away by his mother to live with the Chief in South Africa. Then when South Africa was taken over by Europeans, Nelson's life was changed. As a young man, he became a lawyer in order to fight for people that could not fight for themselves. Soon, apartheid became a major issue in ...more
Megan Nelson
Mar 29, 2016 Megan Nelson rated it really liked it
Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in the Transkei region of South Africa. He was born with the name Rolihlahla, which means "troublemaker". When he was nine-years-old, his father passed away, and he was sent away to school. At school, his teacher called him "Nelson", and he has been known as Nelson ever since. Nelson Mandela's world was divided into three parts: African, Indian, and European; the nation was segregated, and Nelson decided to stand up for his and his people's rights. Event ...more
Katie Winfree
Nov 30, 2015 Katie Winfree rated it it was amazing
"Nelson Mandela" illustrated and written by Kadir Nelson does a really great job depicting Mandela's life in a manner that children can learn meaningfully. Kadir Nelson highlights all of the important events of Madela's life from boyhood to when he becomes South Africa's leader after years of imprisonment. On top of the story itself giving an accurate depiction of Nelson Mandela and all he did, she also adds a more detailed summary of the events in his life in the back of of the book. This gives ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Bianca rated it it was amazing
This book starts off with Nelson Mandela around the age of 9 he is described as the smartest of his 13 siblings and was the only one chosen to go to school. He was given the name Nelson by his teacher because she wouldn't pronounce his birth name. He was sent away to live with a powerful chief after his father died. The book goes on to tell how Nelson Mandela became the President of South Africa and how he helped so many people. This book is a Biography because this is a story of Nelson Mandelas ...more
Tara Smith
Jul 26, 2015 Tara Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Category/Genre: Picture Book/Fiction/Biography
Reading Level: 960L
Interest Level: K-3

Awards: Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor 2014

Description: Mandela is the story of Nelson Mandela from the time he was 9 years old until he was President of South Africa. It tells how he educated himself and used it to help fight for equality of all South Africans.

1. One characteristic of a biography is the accuracy and authenticity of it. This book provides a bibliography of three sources the
Jul 23, 2015 Jack rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jack by: CSK
2014 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor
Kadir Nelson, illustrator and author of Nelson Mandela, published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

With Strong images and text, this is a good first introduction to Nelson Mandela. A 40 page book for 4-8 year old children can't cover the detailed life of an incredible man, but this is a foundation.

"We understand it still there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We
Amy Timmerman
Jun 18, 2015 Amy Timmerman rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
1. A text to world/self connection I made with this story is through its setting. Nelson Mandela was the President of South Africa for several years and I currently have friends that live in South Africa. When I pictured South Africa, I saw the Sahara desert, but that is nothing what South Africa is like!

2. This book is culturally specific because it defines who Nelson Mandela was and what he stood for. Details of the culture are shown through the specific pictures that relate to the text. A com
Mattie Weck
May 10, 2015 Mattie Weck rated it it was amazing
Personal reaction – I really loved this book. The author created an excellent and thoughtful biography of Mandela’s life. I found the illustrations to be so beautiful and expressive. Many of the facts and events included in this biography are recounted in a story-like way which makes for a really enjoyable read.

Purpose(s)/Use in the classroom-

• Read aloud to make a curricular connection: Since Nelson Mandela is such a heroic figure in history, this book could serve as a read aloud to simply lea
Cathy Field
Apr 24, 2015 Cathy Field rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Nelson Mandela, by Kadir Nelson

Nelson Mandela, by Kadir Nelson, is a beautiful biographical picture book for grades one through five. The story begins with Nelson’s birthname, Rolihlahla, which means troublemaker, and carries on to explain his education, work as a lawyer, involvement in the resistance movement to abolish apartheid, his imprisonments and finally his election as president of South Africa. The pictures are filled with meaning and show aspects of South African culture in a very und
Amanda Nye
1.) Text-to-World: There are still people that are fighting for rights and equality similar to Nelson Mandela.

2.) This book does a great job of exposing children to the hardships and views of African Americans. By telling the story about Nelson Mandela, the author is able to create a picture for readers to see the hardships he and other African Americans faced. The book talks about Nelson Mandelas journey to fight for equal rights and showed beautiful pictures referencing the struggles. Several
Nelson Mandela, born in 1918, was a great South African leader against racism and later on became one of the most influential South African presidents in history. Mandela was a member in both peaceful and armed resistance groups in south africa, these protesters fought against the whites’ racist actions. Nelson Mandela was the first of his family to get a formal education from a local missionary school. After his college graduation from the University of Witwatersrand, Nelson began to pursue a ...more
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Coretta Scott Kin...: Nelson Mandela 1 2 Jul 23, 2015 08:37PM  
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