Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Gandhi: Young Nation Builder

Gandhi: Young Nation Builder

Kathleen Kudlinski
For ages 8 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2006   ISBN: 978-1416912835

Mohandas Gandhi was a small for his age and his ears were rather prominent. The son of a dewan, he and the members of his family lived comfortably. They followed the traditions of the caste to which they belonged and did their best to live by the laws of their religion, doing their duty and treating each other with respect and kindness. Mohandas was always aware of the Hindu rules that governed his life. At the age of thirteen he married a local girl of the same age. Though he was now considered a man? Mohandas still went to school. His parents wanted their son to have a good education and later Mohandas was sent to England to learn the law.

Mohandas learned to admire and believe in the famous English rule of law but when he went back to India and later when he went to South Africa, he discovered that the rule of law only really applied to the English and other "whites." The laws were not there to protect or help Indians. More and more Mohandas came to recognize that his world was full of injustice and he decided that it was up to him to do something about it. Mohandas was determined however that change would be brought about without violence and when violence did break out he would appeal to the people in his own special way, putting his own life on the line to do so.

In this book Kathleen Kudlinski is able to show her readers what Gandhi?s life was really like; how the boy struggled to do what was right and what was expected of him, and how the man he became struggled to do what was right even when it went against what his parents had taught him. Gandhi challenged the rigid caste system which existed in his country and never wavered from his conviction that his people would prevail if they became self reliant and if they were willing to make sacrifices.

This is one of the titles in the "Childhood of World Figures" series.