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Grandfather Gandhi

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,422 ratings  ·  235 reviews
Mahatma Gandhi's grandson tells the story of how his grandfather taught him to turn darkness into light in this uniquely personal and vibrantly illustrated tale that carries a message of peace.

How could he "a Gandhi" be so easy to anger?

One thick, hot day, Arun Gandhi travels with his family to Grandfather Gandhi's village.

Silence fills the air, but peace feels far away fo
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,422 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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David Schaafsma
I’ve been reading into non-violence again, lately, (re: among other things, March, by Senator John Lewis and Nate Powell), there’s a cool Peace exhibit at my library right now, and all those in my house are reading Peace books for kids, so this is a good one for getting into non-violence as an issue with kids. Who’s Gandhi? What’s his legacy? Who was influenced by him and how does he relate to current marches and movements? Will a famous guy with great, influential ideas have any effect on his f ...more
Are you familiar with the concept of booktalking? It’s a technique librarians developed to get people interested in books they might otherwise not pick up. The whole concept is to develop a kind of movie trailer style talk that gives a sense of the book’s allure without giving up the plot. Typically booktalking is done for middle grade and young adult works of fiction, but enterprising souls have had a lot of luck with nonfiction as well. Now with an increased interest in nonfiction in our schoo ...more
Karen Witzler
After a spate of reading so-so children's picture book biographies I was surprised and delighted to get to the bottom of my stack and find this. It is a book about anger but is also an introduction to the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Arun, Gandhi's grandson, narrates a story about anger, and his shame about being angry, with a family story that takes the reader (child or adult) into the essence of Gandhi's teachings about non-violence. The book has memorable illustrations that express a ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful recollection of a period of time when Gandhi's grandson, Arun, lived with his grandfather in an ashram in India.

It has the warmth of a fond memory and a small bit of wisdom from the great leader. I love that the book shows how Gandhi lived, truly one of the people. The mixed media illustrations are fascinating in their layers and complex layering of drawings and other items.

Overall, I thought that this book offers a wonderful introduction to children about Gandhi and we rea
Edward Sullivan
I had the opportunity to see Arun Gandhi several years ago and listen to him tell many wonderful intimate, personal stories about his grandfather that brought him vividly to life and made him very human. This remarkable book does the same. I particularly like the resentment the young Arun expresses at having to share his grandfather with so many people. It's emotionally honest and perfectly relatable. Beautiful mixed-media and collage illustrations by Evan Turk.
This is a very unusual book. It is a perspective on someone who seems to be from history to me, never mind the 8-10 year olds who might read this book. However, this book removes the Mahatma from his pedestal to well, put him back on it. He was very approachable and open, even to a small boy. This boy, one of the authors of this book, was his grandson, Arun. Gandhi welcomed him and his sister with a big hug. Later, when the boy was feeling as though there was no way to live up to being a Gandhi, ...more
Not only a reminiscence of one of the most revered humans who ever lived, this fine book is also a meditation on anger and control. Arun's grandfather provides a hard-to-live-up-to example of patience and service, but when Arun loses his shit on the soccer field, he validates the child's feelings of frustration and helplessness while giving him some ideas of how to cope with those feelings.

The art is spectacular. Inky scrawls and jazzy, expressive figures are collaged with lovely papers and wate
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When Arun went to stay at his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi’s village, he worried that he would not be able to live up to his famous name. Arun walked all the way from the station to the village and made his grandfather proud, but he continued to fret that he would not do the right thing the next time. The village was very different from where he lived before. Arun had to share his grandfather’s attention with 350 followers who lived there as well. Arun struggled with his studies and the other kids ...more
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth-nonfiction
Arun, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi tells the story of how he came to live and learn with his grandfather. It's an overwhelming experience -- so much work to do, a language to learn, so many people surrounding the great teacher and demanding his time.

Arun confronts a situation one day on the playground that makes him very angry, and he talks with his grandfather, who teaches him that "anger is like electricity" -- it can split things in two, with catastrophic results -- or its energy can be cha
Stunning mixed media illustrations formed with watercolor, paper collage, cotton fabric, cotton, yarn, gouache, pencil, tea and tin foil highlight the very personal story of Mahatma Gandhi's fifth grandson, Arun. When Arun and his family spend time with his grandfather in his service village, Sevagram, Arun longs to have one-on-one time with his ancestor. But Bapu is a very busy man, and just about everyone needs his attention. As he goes about his days, Arun becomes increasingly aware of his ow ...more
Amy Forrester
When young Arun comes to live with his Grandfather Gandhi at Sevagram in India, he has a difficult time trying to live up to the Gandhi name, which leads to his anger and frustration. Through discussions with his grandfather, Arun comes to understand his anger and how he can use it in a positive, rather than a negative, way. The bright sun and intense heat of India are wonderfully depicted in the mixed medium illustrations, which use yarn, cotton fabric, pencil, tin foil, and even tea. Turk deft ...more
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I want to give this book to everyone I know. A beautifully-told story that provokes great questions about transforming anger into mindfulness and compassion.The lightning/lamp metaphor for anger and its channeling is an excellent one that even very young readers will be able to relate to. And the illustrations! So good. Arun's anger is translated perfectly in Evan Turk's collages of paint, fabric, and yarn--cotton, very appropriately. I also love that tea is a medium in his illustrations--he use ...more
The grandson of Gandhi tells of his feelings of insecurity in trying to live up to his name and the great and peaceful Grandfather that is so well resected. The 12 year old deals with feelings of anger and learns that this human emotion is natural and normal and it is what we choose to do with these strong feelings (use the anger as a lamp to illuminate and make world a better place or as lightning to hurt others.)

This book sends a peaceful message of self acceptance and empowerment as well as b
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Humbling and enlightening and evoking hope...if only we could all live our lives like this..."that we each look inside to see where our anger, shame, and fear hides. And when we do so, that we lovingly channel those feelings into positive action. Each time we choose to act rather than react, to sit instead of strike, to listen instead of shout, we work to create peace. We help our world heal. Let us all learn to live our lives as light." (Bethany Hegedus and Arun Gandhi).
Nancy Kotkin
Text: 3 stars
Illustrations: 5 stars

Picture book memoir written by Gandhi's grandson, about a visit to his grandfather's compound. To understand the significance of this story, children need to already know who Mohandas Gandhi is before they read this book. Some cultural terms (ashram, Gujarati, Bapuji, etc.) are used but not defined, neither within the text nor in a glossary. The mixed-media illustrations, though unusual, suit the text and subject matter well.
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anger and Gandhi requests
Recommended to June by: Betsy and Edward Sullivan
A powerful introduction to Mahatma Gandhi and to his grandson Arun. This covers a time when Arun goes to visit his Grandfather and is jealous of all the time other people take of his Grandfather. Arun doesn't feel like a Gandhi. How can he ever live up to the expectations for a grandson of Gandhi? When overcome with anger, he turns to his grandfather and learns a lesson about anger and electricity.
Rebecca Honeycutt
Bright, textured, extremely striking collage illustrations paired with an intimate view of a famous figure. Not to mention a lovely message about the universal experience of anger, and our individual choice of what to do with that anger.

Brilliant and sensitive. Just give it all the awards already.
The Reading Countess
Beautifully illustrated, simply told, a tale that reminds us all that acceptance of all and self-control are values to be upheld despite how challenging it might be to live them day to day.
Highly recommended.
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Absolutely lovely. I'm sure many children, and adults, will see their own grandparents, as I did. That may be what I like best about this story-it is a story about a great man, but also about grandfathers and grandchildren everywhere.
Mary Ann
Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, Arun, worries that he will never live up to the Gandhi name. He angers easily and has trouble sitting quietly still. I love the moments they share when his grandfather explains that he sometimes feels angry too but has learned to channel it for good.
Apr 06, 2014 added it
Shelves: picture-books
The art is unusual and spectacular.
And what I further love about this book is that we get to see a totally different side of/story of this famous figure. Great book and so emotionally relatable to children.
Brenda Kahn
I came to this through Be the Change, which I read earlier this month. Gorgeously illustrated and engaging, relatable story.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Multicultural Picture Book Entry #2:
Grandfather Gandhi is an Autobiographical picture book written by the fifth grandson of Gandhi, Arun. I categorized it as so because it tells of a true life lesson that Arun experienced with his grandfather. I think this book would be great for a first grade reader as long as it is adult directed to help make sense of the story and to establish context.

Text-to-Text: Because Arun struggles with his anger and finding peace, I thought of the book Anh's Anger. Th
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: k-3-non-fiction
Grandfather Gandhi, co-written by Gandhi's grandson Arun Gandhi, and author Bethany Hegedus, focuses on the experience 12-year-old Arun shares with his grandfather in Sevegram, a secret village in India. Surrounded by a community of people following Gandhi's teachings, young Arun feels overwhelmed by the strength and goodness of his grandfather. When he loses his temper in a soccer game, he runs to his grandfather for help. His grandfather explains that anger can be channeled like electricity, u ...more
Avery Schlosser
Avery Schlosser
Grandfather Gandhi

In the book Grandfather Gandhi, the author Arun Gandhi tells the story of his life as a little boy looking up to his grandfather, the famous Mahatma Gandhi. Arun talks about how his grandfather taught him to turn darkness into light. He talks about the struggles of trying to please his grandfather by finding good and peace in everything. This book falls perfectly under the genre of historical fiction because Mahatma Gandhi was a real person. Mahatma Karamchand G
Claudia Naranjo
Love this story, and with the right introduction, I'm sure many students will enjoy too.

I read "Betsy's Review" review and I love her idea about how to booktalk this book:

“Have any of you ever heard of Einstein? Yes? He’s the guy that was a total genius. Now imagine you’re his grandkid and you’re not that smart. Okay now, have any of you heard of the Beatles. Yes? Well imagine you’re one of THEIR grandkids . . . and you’re bad at music. Now here’s the big one. Has anyone heard of Gandhi? He was
Hanna Momsen
Multicultural Picture Book #3
Genre: Autobiography- because it tells of true life events from Gandhi's fifth grandson
Target Audience: 1st-3rd grade
Text-to-Self: I feel as though I can relate to Arun because I too felt that I had to live up to my last name. I have an older sister who is great at everything she does, and this made school difficult for me because I felt that I had alot more pressure on me because coaches and teachers expected me to be just like her.
Text-to-Text: I feel like this b
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story with an important message for kids, and adults too. The artwork (the reason I picked the book up in the first place) puts it on an entirely new level, and along with Arun and Bethany's words, helps humanize a figure who has been deified by so many since his death. The sensitive and lively artwork makes Gandhi real and interesting for children. The book introduces an image of Gandhi that is personal and far removed from the way I had imagined him before. And why shouldn't it? It ...more
Lili Venegas
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: multi-cultural
I really enjoyed the illustrations that are in this book. The use of color is very pleasing to the eye and the shapes and forms are all sort of soft, so it makes for a very warm image in most of the illustrations. Regarding the text of the book, I honestly got annoyed with how whiny the main character was throughout the book- he was always complaining. He would complain about the food, about his tutor, about his pencil being too short, about falling down, and then he became angry. I almost feel ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks, 2015, bio
While the book is a true story, I'm not sure the term biography applies as this is a single incident from the life of Gandhi and his grandson, but it's an interesting one. Arun is feeling overlooked and nervous as his family visits his very famous grandfather. He experiences a problem with anger and goes to Gandhi for help. The wise man says everyone, even him, gets angry, and that it's not anger that is the problem but what we choose to do with it. The illustrations involve some use of collage, ...more
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