In this fascinating and well-designed book written by Maura Shaw with full-color illustrations by Stephen Marchesi, children ages 6 - 10 are treated to a journey through time and different places where ten amazing individuals did all they could to make a better world. These days when young people are introduced to violent video games at an early age, a book like this is a real service to parents. Dr. Robert Coles states in the Foreword:
"Here in this book are ten human beings (eight men and two women) who lived in the past one hundred years and yet clearly remain with all of us today. What they believed, and even more important, what they did to uphold their beliefs, values, and principles, keeps them still very much with us. We look to them as moral guides, as individuals who dared to live honorably, decently, and as persons who thought not only of themselves their hopes and wishes and worries but of other people."
Those covered and what they are known for are:
• Black Elk (One World, One Family)
• Dorothy Day (Food for the Body and for the Soul)
• Malcolm X (Choosing Courage Over Fear)
• Mahatma Gandhi (Peaceful Not Passive Resistance
• Martin Luther King, Jr. (A Dream of Freedom)
• Janusz Korczak (Looking After the Children)
• Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Serving the Poorest of the Poor)
• Albert Schweitzer (Reverence for All Living Things)
• Thich Nhat Hanh (The Way of Mindfulness)
• Desmond Tutu (Speaking out Against Injustice)
Shaw provides biographies of each person, illuminating facts about their lives and times, timelines, and a colorful world map.
These heroic individuals set a high standard for all of us to follow in their work to save the environment, promote peace and nonviolence, help the poor, achieve racial equality, and bring justice to all. Each chapter has a quotation from the person profiled. Here's a sampler:
• "Children are not the people of tomorrow, but are the people of today. They have a right to be taken seriously, and to be treated with tenderness and respect. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be. The unknown person inside each of them is our hope for the future."
• "We shall be free, all of us, black and white, for it is God's intention. He enlists us to help him transfigure all the ugliness of this world into the beauty of his kingdom."
• "I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against. I believe in recognizing every human being neither white, black, brown or red."