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Grandad Mandela serves as a wonderful introduction to the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, who brought an end to racial apartheid while president of South Africa. 

The book is written as a conversation between the book's author, Zindzi Mandela, who is Nelson Mandela's daughter, and her two grandchildren, Zazi and Ziwelene. While the conversation primarily serves to structure the narrative, it also brings a sense of familial connection and pride to Mandela's story.

In order to adequately cover the major events of Mandela's life, the story also explains important concepts from that time and place that might not make as much sense to children these days, such as apartheid, justice (especially as it related to apartheid), and the African principle of "Ubuntu" -- treating others as we would want to be treated, and in Mandela's case, forgiving his enemies in order to work with them for the betterment of the entire country.

In addition to the thorough (without being too wordy) and important story, the illustrations here are wonderful -- they capture the view of Mandela as a single, important person, but also his fight for justice and the way it encompassed an entire country -- and the colors are wonderful too.

This is a great way for children to learn about an important historical figure, and for those of us who are older, it can serve as a jumping-off point for further reading.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Ambassador Zindzi Mandela, Zazi and Ziwelene Mandela
Illustrator: Sean Qualls
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: Very little is actually said of violence ("fight" is generally used as a more theoretical term, implying the general fight for justice), but there is one scene that depicts two white policeman with sticks raised over two black people who are on the ground -- no blood, but it gives a visual of the racial dominance that was upheld under apartheid. There is mention of Mandela's long prison term, and how difficult it was to keep his spirits up.

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