Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Desmond Tutu

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Synopsis

Based on a true story from Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s childhood in South Africa, Desmond and the Very Mean Word reveals the power of words and the secret of forgiveness. When Desmond takes his new bicycle out for a ride through his neighborhood, his pride and joy turn to hurt and anger when a group of boys shout a very mean word at him. He first responds by shouting an insult, but soon discovers that fighting back with mean words doesn’t make him feel any better. With the help of kindly Father Trevor, Desmond comes to understand his conflicted feelings and see that all people deserve compassion, whether or not they say they are sorry. Brought to vivid life in A. G. Ford’s energetic illustrations, this heartfelt, relatable story conveys timeless wisdom about how to handle bullying and angry feelings, while seeing the good in everyone.
 

About Desmond Tutu

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Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Anglican archbishop, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and served as chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate apartheid-era crimes. He is currently the chair of The Elders, where he gives vocal defense of human rights and campaigns for the oppressed.
 
Published November 12, 2013 by Candlewick. 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Desmond and the Very Mean Word

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When the two boys encounter each other in town, the white boy shares candy with Desmond.

Nov 14 2012 | Read Full Review of Desmond and the Very Mean Word

Publishers Weekly

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Just as children have dreams, say Archbishop Tutu and Abrams (previously paired with Tutu for God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time ), so does God: “God dreams that every one of us will see that we are all brothers and sisters—yes, even you and me—even if we have different mommies and da...

Jul 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Desmond and the Very Mean Word

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Meaning something like ""a person is a person through other people,"" ubuntu sums up Tutu's philosophical framework for addressing apartheid's hard truths and beginning the reconciliation process necessary to move beyond apartheid's legacy.

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This is a collection of miscellany-speeches, letters, sermons, interview extracts-by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tuto, who since 1976 has spoken out against apartheid and for human rights.

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When a group of white boys hurl racial epithets at young Desmond, he turns to his mentor, Father Trevor.

Nov 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Desmond and the Very Mean Word

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Archbishop Tutu shares his philosophy in simple but eloquent words intended for young children, accompanied by Pham's appealing illustrations ...

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K-Gr 3—Archbishop Tutu describes the power of words and the secret of forgiveness in a story from his South African childhood during apartheid. One day Desmond rides his bike past a gang of boys, one of whom calls him "a very mean word." The pain of the word stays with him for days, following him...

Apr 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Desmond and the Very Mean Word

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