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Desmond and the Very Mean Word

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Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Desmond Tutu
Hardcover $16.99
Dec 03, 2012 | ISBN 9780763652296

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  • Hardcover $16.99

    Dec 03, 2012 | ISBN 9780763652296 | 6-9 years

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[A] heart-rending story…
—The New York Times Book Review

Ford’s oil illustrations do a fine job of capturing the dusty days of township life, as well as Desmond’s dark nights of the soul.
—Publishers Weekly

A thought-provoking lesson for young readers on the destructiveness of bullying and racism.
—Kirkus Reviews

Writing again with Abrams (God’s Dream, 2008), Tutu offers a clear telling that feels much like a children’s homily, the earnest tone and clean language (the offending word is never mentioned) reflecting his own wholesome spirit. Ford’s dynamic paintings, with well-defined outlines and dramatic light, match the clarity of the narrative. The images fill the large-trim spreads, capturing the immediacy of the conflict and the tranquility of the resolution.

Archbishop Tutu describes the power of words and the secret of forgiveness in a story from his South African childhood during apartheid…The story avoids a preachy tone by staying true to Desmond’s emotions and his struggle to reach a moral high ground. The book is both a lesson and a slice of life, giving insight into the person Archbishop Tutu became as an adult.
—School Library Journal

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