Kid Lit Review of “Desmond and the Very Mean Word” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams

This is a wonderful book! I cried at the end of course. I found it absorbing and definitely don’t think it’s just for kids!

DesmondCover-Jpeg

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the famed South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop, tells the true story of an experience he had when he was a young boy, when he got called a very mean word by another child. He was so hurt, and wanted to get even.

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Father Trevor, his childhood hero and mentor, helped him through that rough patch, by talking to him about how he could feel better about himself and about others.

Father Trevor went on to become Archbishop Huddleston, one of the most important members of the South African anti-apartheid movement, and Desmond Tutu not only became an Anglican archbishop, but was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. He named his first son Trevor.

Abdul Minty, Father Trevor Huddleston, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Adelaide Tambo at the Nelson Mandela Freedom March, England, July 1988.

Abdul Minty, Father Trevor Huddleston, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Adelaide Tambo at the Nelson Mandela Freedom March, England, July 1988.

Evaluation: This book not only suggests how to deal with cruelty from others, but shows that even great men, even future Nobel Laureates, at one time struggled with being hurt by other kids, and with learning the best way to deal with it. Young Desmond had a strong desire to get revenge, but Father Trevor showed him there was actually a better way to get free of the hurt he felt.

A. G. Ford adds to the impact of the story with his vivid and realistic oil paintings.

Highly recommended for all ages!

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Rating: 5/5

Published by Candlewick Press, 2012

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8 Responses to Kid Lit Review of “Desmond and the Very Mean Word” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams

  1. Beth F says:

    The illustrations look so powerful in this book. Wow.

  2. sandynawrot says:

    Wow. That is really inspirational! I could see a movie being made about this guy.

  3. Gorgeous illustrations! And what a great message in a world where bullying is getting harder and harder to deal with.

  4. BermudaOnion says:

    This looks fantastic! I think the great men are the ones who learn how to react to cruelty like that.

  5. Vasilly says:

    If you loved it, I have to read it! 🙂

  6. Important story with awesome illustrations!

  7. bookingmama says:

    Wonderful messages!!! I still remember going to hear Desmond Tutu speak when I was in college!

  8. Rachel says:

    This book looks great – thanks so much for the review!

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