Sunday, November 2, 2014

Grandfather Gandhi

Evan Turk’s illustrations in this, his first published, book are awesome.  His palette is perfect to transport the reader to Sevagram, Mohandas Gandhi’s ashram, in India.  And as we walk the dusty road along with Arun, co-author and main character, we can imagine his struggle.  To share his grandfather, such a huge figure to so many people who revered him, but also, to Arun, Grandfather.  And to conduct his own behavior in a way he felt lived up to his family name.  Quite a load for young shoulders to carry to be sure.  And when he lashed out in anger, the lesson that followed proved to be a lifelong one.  A simile, comparing anger to electricity.  Like lightning, it can strike and destroy, or can be transformed to “shed light like a lamp.”  Arun recollects the elder Gandhi’s words: “…anger can illuminate.  It can turn darkness into light.”

Much like R.J. Palacio’s book, Wonder, inspired many to “Choose Kind” and pledge to do so, so too have Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus.  Check out There you will find the “Live Your Life as Light” Pledge for students to take as well as many other awesome resources for readers, teachers, and parents.  Bethany Hegedus created a “Readers Theater”, and educator’s guide, a hands on spinning wheel activity, a book trailer, and a “meet the creators” video.  I can easily see this as a “One School, One Book” program selection in future years.  It is a story that can inspire people at any age to “Live your Life as Light.”


Grandfather Gandhi
Author: Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus
Illustrator: Evan Turk
ISBN: 978-1-4424-2365-7

Published 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

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