Why is "hero" is a word so often reserved for warriors who fight with guns and weapons to defend their people? Renowed picture book biographer Jonah Winter writes of another kind of hero, a peaceful hero, who is willing to die for a cause, but never to kill for a cause. From the ultimate hero, Jesus of Nazareth, to the ordinary man who saved Rwanda, Paul Rusesabagina, Jonah Winter brings children a series of remarkable stories about the bravest people history has known. The searing text is illustrated with moving portraits from a brand new talent, Sean Addy.
Grades 4-7. Starting off with Jesus, Gandhi, King, and Sojourner Truth, this collective biography goes on to profile many less well-known peace activists across the world, from Islamic leader Abdul Ghaffae Khan, who led a nonviolent protest against the brutal British colonizers of Pakistan, to contemporary heroes, such as Paul Rusesabagina of Rwanda, who refused the call to massacre the Tutus, and Aung San Sun Kyi of Burma. The detailed portraits never deny the horrifying realities that the peace-seeking leaders are fighting against. With the chatty interactive text, there are handsome full-page pictures of each activist, rendered in oil, acrylic, and collage in shades of red and brown. The book design sometimes overwhelms the words, with print that spills over onto the pictures and makes reading a challenge. This is a good starting place for discussion, though, and the stirring profiles will move many kids, who will want to talk about the people and the issues. Unfortunately, for those who will want to find out more, there is no documentation, not even a bibliography.