Nelson Mandela

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In his lifetime, Nelson Mandela was viewed as a terrorist by some and a liberator by others.

Today, opinions about South Africa’s first democratically elected president remain split. But no matter how they feel about Mandela, most South Africans acknowledge that they owe him for many of the freedoms they enjoy.

Beyond that, Mandela became a symbol of what it meant to stand up to oppression and then to forgive the oppressor. The South African freedom fighter was jailed for 26 years, from the age of 46 to 71, for his protests against apartheid.

From militant resistance against a white government to call for reconciliation, from challenging his oppressors to later famously forgiving them, from spending decades in prison to acknowledging those years as a period of learning, Mandela’s views and his politics are not palatable to all, but they certainly made heads turn and garnered him and his fight global recognition. Read all about the controversial life of Nelson Mandela, the man who was born to be king.

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About the Author

Valerie Bodden

VALERIE BODDEN is the author of more than 200 children’s books. Her books have received critical acclaim from Booklist, Children’s Literature, ForeWord Magazine, Horn Book Guide, VOYA, and School Library Journal.