From School Library Journal
Grade 3–5—The eclectic group of people featured here includes figures from the distant past (Jesus of Nazareth) as well as contemporary people (Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi). Some, like Martin Luther King, Jr. are famous, while others, such as Abdul Ghaffar Khan, are obscure. These diverse individuals are united thematically in that each chose a path in life to help others through nonviolent means, often at great personal risk, and often paying the ultimate price. These are important and inspirational figures, but the book is heavily message-driven, with Winter often oversimplifying or offering opinions as facts. When speaking of Sojourner Truth, he states that she preached "what she knew to be the truth against slavery and the racism that caused slavery to happen." Many other factors also led to the rise of slavery in the U.S. Stating that "most people in other countries think that America has done more harm than good in Iraq" is not backed up by any references to respected reporting agencies. In fact, no sources are supplied for any of the information or thoughts and feelings attributed to these people. The book's design also contributes to the heavy-handed approach, with words such as "sacrifice" and "risk" appearing in an inch-tall font at the top or bottom of the pages. Addy's oil and collage paintings have a burnished look to them, and would have been even more powerful without the distracting lettering. This is a well-intentioned volume, but it fails when it comes to the "show, don't tell" principle of good writing.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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About the Author
Jonah Winter has written many exciting picture book biographies for children, with subjects that include Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Barack Obama, and Dizzy Gillespie. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA.