Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Peaceful heroes

Peaceful heroes

Jonah Winter
Illustrator:  Sean Addy 
Non-Fiction Picture Book
For ages 9 to 12
Scholastic, 2009   ISBN: 0439623073

In Ancient Greece a hero was a warrior who performed well, and with valor, on the field of battle. For many thousands of years this concept of what a hero was stayed much the same. Today however, in a world that is full of war, conflict, and suffering, we are looking  for a new kind of hero. We look up to people who do turn away from violence, we look up to people who fight for peace instead of war.

In this very important book ,Jonah Winter looks at the lives of fourteen people, both men and women, who were, and are, warriors of peace. He begins with Jesus of Nazareth who taught his followers to “Love your enemies.” He believed that one should  not respond to aggression with more aggression. Jesus’s radical ideas frightened many people, and in the end his enemies killed him.

Readers will also get to read about Clara Barton who took on the dangerous job of being a battlefield nurse during the American Civil War. She did not care who her patients were because she believed that every life is precious. After the war was over, she worked tirelessly to create a Red Cross organization in America, and she continued to travel to areas of conflict and disaster to serve as a nurse.

Other people whose lives are described in this book are Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Sojourner Truth, Carrie ten Boom, Ginetta Sagan, Abdul Ghaffer Khan, Oscar Romero, and others.

This exceptional book not only helps children to better understand what true heroism is, but it also shows them that heroism comes in many forms. The lives of men and women from all over the world are spotlighted, and readers will see that fighting for peace is truly the greatest battle of all.