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Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book
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Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  111 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Freedom fighter, fugitive, president of his nation, hero of the world, Nelson Mandela was called a terrorist, forced into hiding, captured, threatened with death, and eventually thrown into jail. But nothing could stop him from fighting to liberate his country from Apartheid. All of this and much more is presented in vivid color by a team of South African artists...

Paperback, 193 pages
Published July 18th 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published July 18th 2008)
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May 11, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Kelly Garwood

Nelson Mandela Foundation & U. Wezithome [Illustrator.] (2009). Nelson Mandela: The authorized comic book. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Genre: Biography

Award(s): VOYA starred

Format: graphic novel

Selection process: Davey, D. P. (2009, November 1). Review [Review of the graphic novel Nelson Mandela: The authorized comic book by Nelson Mandela Foundation with U. Wezithombe]. School Library Journal.

Maury, L. (2009, September 9). Luminous comic book reveals Mandela’s
Maureen Shea
Apr 30, 2013 Maureen Shea rated it it was amazing
Biography/ Graphic Novel
Nelson Mandela The Authorized Comic Book by Nelson Mandela Foundation (author) with Umlando Wezithhombe (illustrator)
Maureen Judith Shea
(2009) Nelson Mandela (p. 193). New York: W. W. Norton & Company Award 2010 Best Book for Older Readers in the Children’s Africana Book Awards from the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association (ASA).
Retrieved from:
Format: print
Selection process: Initially reviewed graphic novel sec
Aug 26, 2015 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the art and subject matter. My main complaint about Nelson Mandela: the Authorized Comic Book is that it provides about as much information as a timeline of events. The book provides little in the way of historical context, and little in the way of characterization, even of Nelson Mandela himself. the book shows us his childhood and adolescence, but the book gives few clues of where his drive and dedication to the the struggle for freedom came from. For example, the part of the book with ...more
Wow is the first thing I can say about this graphic novel. This book is a very detailed biography of Nelson Mandela. It would've been a very hard story to tell without the graphic images to help, as it is so politically-based. Before reading this, I only knew that he had been in prison for a long time and won the Nobel Peace Prize. That is only a part of it. Nelson Mandela led an incredible life, and one that most people probably wouldn't survive, but he was strong and carried on no matter what ...more
Feb 02, 2014 LauraW rated it liked it
It was interesting for me to read this book, as some of the history I actually lived through, though, I must admit, I didn't always pay attention to it.

The thing that impresses me most about Mandela is his steadfast commitment to the idea of equality of all racial groups. There were compromises along that way that might have incrementally solved the apartheid problem, but the compromises were not accepted.

Since this is an "authorized" comic book, I wonder just a tad, whether some of the histor
Pompom Sönnfors
The story of Nelson Mandela is a university in itself. The book gives a good insight into his life while serving additional details that most people (i.e. me) might not have known before. For example that the ANC was in many ways a violent terrorist group under Mandelas leadership, both before and after his years in prison.

It's a pity that the pictures are not very well drawn and that the chronology is a little inconsistent. The story line is straight on the whole, but smaller incidents that occ
Jan 03, 2015 Arielle rated it liked it
2015 Reading Challenge - A graphic novel.

I read this to my children. I really appreciated how many questions it prompted them to have. They really wanted to know and understand what was going on. The one downfall of it was that, ironically much like the movie "Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom", there wasn't enough explanation about the conflict and violence between Inkatha and the ANC after Mandela's release. There was more explanation of how the Apartheid government funded and armed Inkatha in it
Yalonda Neff
This over-sized graphic novel is a great medium to present the dense biographic of Nelson Mandela. This book would be great supplemental material for a lesson on apartheid, South African history, or Mandela. I would have this book available in the classroom library or assign it for small groups. Due to the length and level of concepts I would use this book for middle school and high school students. This medium is great for the classroom because it presents the dense life of Mandela through a co ...more
Brandon White
Aug 21, 2015 Brandon White rated it it was amazing
This book was important for me in terms of gaining a comprehensive understanding of Nelson Mandela's importance to our progress as a human race. The book was very detailed without getting into too much minutiae, and allowed me to see a man of mind-boggling commitment to his people and human progress. The book was honest about the questionable sacrifices that were made to achieve his goals, and honest about the imperfections of his legacy and his character (nothing major though). All in all, This ...more
Feb 22, 2010 Eric rated it liked it
Recommends it for: every one
So I just finished reading Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book.
O.K. simmer down. Yea, I know it’s a “comic book”, and for the record, I also read Nelson Mandela’s autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” when it was published years ago. But strangely enough, I liked the “comic” book better.

The autobiography seemed forced and quickly written to take advantage of Nelson Mandela being then recently freed from prison. The “comic book” reads evenly as a narrative and the art is equally impressive.
The beautifully illustrated story of Nelson Mandela's life is accessible and easy. The text could be a bit larger for the speech and narration bubbles, but otherwise, the graphics and text are well-balanced, making it enjoyable. There is quite a bit of reference to different political parties, unrest, movements, and events and people and places that is sometimes hard to muddle through and there isn't much to define these, though it's not as necessary as understanding the struggles Mandela suffer ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I really enjoyed learning more about Nelson Mandela, but I didn't actually like this comic book. The drawings were occasionally squashed and warped, as if they had been photoshopped into a layout they weren't intended for. The page layouts were confusing and distracting. It also felt like a lot of information was missing. This is not a good place to begin if you want to learn about Nelson Mandela or South Africa.
Mar 02, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Excellent introduction to not only Nelson Mandela's life but some of the history of apartheid South Africa. I would recommend this book for anyone who doesn't have the time to read his full autobiography, but who wants to learn more about him. I think they should release more graphic novels like this to get kids introduced to history and famous political figures in a way that is more interesting that a longer book or novel.
Aug 27, 2009 Beth rated it it was ok
This comic book format biopgraphy seems a little propaganda like to me, with it's official endorsement and preface containing a speech Mandela delivered to launch the comic books series in 2005.

I read the first chapter, about 2 dozen pages. The artwork is nothing
extraordinary, and the tone is a bit didactic.
This was an interesting format for reading about Nelson Mandela's life. I wasn't a fan of the narration (tour guide leading tourists around significant sites) but after awhile I became so engrossed by Nelson Mandela's life it didn't matter. I like that they ised a collective of artists for the artwork but sometimes adjacent panels were drawn in completely different styles, which was jarring.
Johnny Wadsworth
Nov 09, 2010 Johnny Wadsworth rated it really liked it
what I didnt like about the book was that he was put in to the prison so many times, for sticking up to the rights of black people to have there right and to stick up in what they beleave, then he became the president of africa. Thats what I thought of the book.
Oct 05, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing
Happened upon this while shelving books in the graphic novel section of the library. I'm a fan of Mandela. Excited to see people using other genres to teach history about one of my heroes and inspirations.
Megan McNally
Apr 01, 2016 Megan McNally rated it liked it
I thought that the pictures were very good and that the story of his life is very interesting, but it was difficult to read at times with all the names and places that are mentioned. It was cool how the story was based off of a women giving a tour about Nelson Mandela.
Jan 04, 2014 Mark rated it liked it
A pretty good primer for learning about Nelson Mandela's life. The storytelling is a little stiff at first but gets better as it goes along.
Aug 25, 2011 Peacegal rated it liked it
This colorful graphic bio is a fine introduction to the life of Nelson Mandela.
Sidik Fofana
Jan 03, 2012 Sidik Fofana rated it really liked it
SIX WORD REVIEW: A long life of freedom marching.
Feb 05, 2012 Barb rated it really liked it
Graphic novels can b like cliff notes. I admire Mandelas persistence and standing by his principles no matter what.
Dec 21, 2014 Chidambarakumari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
This is a beautifully drawn and well written graphic novel that brings Mandela and his struggle right into your living room.
William T.
Jan 05, 2015 William T. rated it it was amazing
Nelson Mandela is an inspiration for all and it shows that working hard pays off and his soul touching book will be a cherishing memoire of his life for all time
Thomas Andrikus
Jan 24, 2012 Thomas Andrikus rated it it was amazing
Nelson Mandela, being one of the best politician of all time, comes to life in this graphic novel. A great introduction to Mandela's life, this book...
Nancy Mcdaniel
Jan 04, 2015 Nancy Mcdaniel rated it it was amazing
an easy, enjoyable and most creative way to learn the life of Madiba and how he came to be the first duly elected President of South Africa. wonderful
Jennifer James
Jennifer James rated it really liked it
Sep 29, 2009
Telps rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2014
Andi rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2012
Keisha Kusi-sarkodie
Keisha Kusi-sarkodie rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2013
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