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Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013; books for kids about South Africa's hero

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Nelson Mandela, the man who served 27 years in South African prisons for his anti-colonial beliefs and actions, has died at the age of 95. The world has lost one of the greatest leaders of all time and mourns along with his wife Graça Machel and his six children.

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While those who were teens and young adults during the time of Mandela's imprisonment, release and eventual presidency of South Africa are more familiar with the man and his story, younger children may not be aware of why his death is being reported around the world. Here are some books for young readers of all ages that highlight the man and his contributions to making the world a better place.

"Nelson Mandela" by Kadir Nelson (Katherine Tegen Books, Jan. 2013) This beautifully-illustrated book tells the story of Mandela from the death of his father when he was just a boy to his determination to change the laws of his country.

"Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales" edited by Nelson Mandela (W. W. Norton & Company, 2007) A collection of Mandela's most-loved and inspirational folktales from his homeland.

"Mandela: A Film and Historical Companion" by Nelson Mandela, Keith Bernstein and Ahmed Kathrada (Chronicle Books, Oct. 2013) Using his own words and photos, Mandela describes his life as a fighter for South African equality and the end of apartheid.

"Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" by Chris van Wyk and Paddy Bouma (Flash Point, 2009) A condensed version of Mandela's autobiography geared towards younger readers.

"Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book" by The Nelson Mandela Foundation (W. W. Norton & Company, 2009) Mandela's life story told in graphic novel format for readers of all ages.

The Children's Fiction Examiner joins the rest of the world in offering prayers and condolences for the friends and family of Nelson Mandela.


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