by Kazuki Ebine

Penguin, $15.00, 210 pages

Kazuki Ebine’s Gandhi: a Manga Biography is lovely. I am impressed with Ebine’s black and white art, his art is evocative and conveys a gravity to characterization in a manner similar Sir Richard Attenborough’s classic 1982 film Gandhi. I enjoyed the fact that Ebine captured Gandhi’s early career as a barrister in South Africa, and his opposition to the racist policies of the South African government around the turn of the 20th century. A lesser work may have skipped that period entirely, it’s a strength of this manga that it did not. Ebine introduces vocabulary words such as “passive resistance”, then shows us that Gandhi regrets that phrase, explaining that there’s nothing passive about it. This book can be used to introduce young people to exactly who Gandhi was. He was human, and his struggles are just as timely today as they have ever been, perhaps more so. I could definitely see this book being used in a middle school classroom. If you have a young person who enjoys history, or who may feel like one person can’t change the world, then this book is for them.

Reviewed by Bradley Wright