The peo­ple who make our his­tory

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPOSTER - TRACY GRANT

IT’S easy to think of his­tory as be­ing about big events – wars, elec­tions, laws – that took place a long time ago. Some­times his­tory doesn’t seem to be very per­sonal at all.

But his­tory is about peo­ple. Hu­mans cre­ate his­tory. They start wars – or end them. Peo­ple also change his­tory. They look around and ask, “Why is the world the way it is?” And then they go out and make the world a bet­ter place.

Be­low, you’ll find books about five peo­ple. They saw things wrong in the world and spoke out against them. They made beau­ti­ful mu­sic that they wanted to share with ev­ery­one. They dreamed of go­ing to school.

They are Nel­son Man­dela, Des­mond Tutu, Booker T. Wash­ing­ton, Sarah Breedlove Walker and Ella Fitzger­ald.

Here are some books for chil­dren about th­ese his­tory mak­ers: ● Nel­son Man­dela Writ­ten and il­lus­trated by Kadir Nel­son. Age 6 and older.

This beau­ti­ful book uses po­etry to tell the story of Nel­son Man­dela. As a boy of just nine, Man­dela’s fa­ther died and he was sent away to school.

Man­dela saw that black peo­ple in South Africa were treated dif­fer­ently. As a young man, he spoke out about how wrong that was.

For this he was put in prison, where he stayed for 27 years. But to­day, be­cause of Man­dela’s ac­tions there is no more apartheid in South Africa.

● Des­mond and the Very Mean Word

By Arch­bishop Des­mond Tutu and Dou­glas Carl­ton Abrams; il­lus­trated by AG Ford. Age 7 and older.

This book tells the story of what hap­pened to Des­mond Tutu grow­ing up in South Africa, where white and black peo­ple were sep­a­rated by apartheid.

Young Des­mond had just got a new bike and he was very proud of it, but as he rode it through the streets of his town, some white boys taunted him, call­ing him a very mean word.

With the help of an un­der­stand­ing grown-up, he learnt an im­por­tant les­son that would help him go on to win the No­bel Peace prize. This is a book about that story.

● Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Wash­ing­ton

By Jabari Asim; il­lus­trated by Bryan Col­lier. Age six and older.

This is a beau­ti­ful book that may sur­prise kids who groan about go­ing to school. Booker T. Wash­ing­ton was born a slave and when he was freed, he wanted more than any­thing to learn to read.

As a slave, he would see white chil­dren go to school and he wished he could be there. When he was old enough, Wash­ing­ton trav­elled 500 kilo­me­tres by foot to go to col­lege. But his dream would not end there.

Wash­ing­ton would go on not just to read books but to write them, and he would not just go to col­lege but one day he would start one of his own.

● Vi­sion of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker

By Kathryn Lasky; il­lus­trated by Nneka Ben­nett. Age 8 and up.

Sarah Breedlove Walker, a daugh­ter to for­mer slaves worked in a laun­dry as a young black girl in the US in the 1870s.

But she went on to be­come a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­woman, sell­ing health and beauty prod­ucts to black women. She used the money to help oth­ers.

● Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzger­ald

By Rox­ane Orgill. Il­lus­trated by Sean Qualls. Age 8 and older.

As a girl grow­ing up in New York City, Ella Fitzger­ald loved mu­sic and danc­ing. Some didn’t con­sider her pretty, and said she had small eyes. That changed when she danced. But her mom died when Ella was 14, and she no longer felt like danc­ing.

Scared and shy af­ter her mom’s death. Ella found the courage to en­ter a singing com­pe­ti­tion. And be­cause of her tal­ent, peo­ple came to know she was a star. – Wash­ing­ton Post

Nel­son Man­dela Des­mond and the Very Mean Word

WARMTH: Nel­son Man­dela chats to chil­dren and the cover of the book Nel­son.

by Kadir SHAR­ING: Des­mond Tutu reads to chil­dren. TRI­UMPH: Des­mond story is ti­tled


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