Gandhi: A March to the Sea

 
Lovely, poignant look at key moment in Indian history.

What parents need to know

Educational value
The story is a primer on Gandhi and the independence movement in India. It touches on Gandhi's principles and methods, the political situation, and the religious diversity in India. Additional material -- including an introduction, map, and source notes -- provides opportunities to explore further.
 
Positive messages
Gandhi's march illustrates that not all laws are just and fair, and such laws deserve to be challenged. Gandhi's path tactfully focuses on a pernicious law with a message of empowerment and minimal confrontation.
 
Positive role models
Gandhi, of course, exemplifies the power of peaceful protest. He lives his principles, even taking unpopular stands by reaching out to the lowest Hindu caste. He's purposefully breaking the law, but with good reason and with great care and consideration. His goal is clearly better living conditions for Indians.
 
Violence & scariness
There's no violence, but the threat of danger hangs over the march. Protesters are worried they might be confronted with guns. The story notes that protesters in India are arrested and jailed. The book does not mention Gandhi's assassination.
 
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Gandhi: A March to the Sea is a beautiful, broad-stroke depiction of this pivotal event in India's path to independence from British rule. Young readers probably will need help filling in the details and understanding both the context for the march and what followed. Gandhi sets out to break an unfair law and protest for change, which will surely provoke discussion about laws, fairness, and advocating for change.
 

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

In 1930, Mohandas Gandhi and scores of supporters take the first step on a 24-day walk to the sea to make salt in defiance of the British salt laws. They set out to break the law, but their goal is to win freedom peacefully. Rumors persist that trouble is brewing, but Gandhi keeps going. Along the way, he teaches people how to spin their own yarn, another way to defy taxes on cloth. He even defies traditional belief and bathes with water reserved for the Untouchables. When he reaches the shore, he scoops up sandy mud to show the salt. He and thousands of Indians are arrested in the ensuing protests, part of India's long march to freedom.

\

 

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 
Author Alice McGinty walked Gandhi's path to the sea and worked closely with his grandson on GANDHI: A MARCH TO THE SEA. Her feeling for this subject infuses the book. Her gentle verse, moving in rhythmic waves, and softly shaded illustrations by Thomas Gonzalez combine for great sensory appeal. Together they distill a complicated subject down to an emotionally resonant story that will connect with kids.
 
The book is marketed to ages 8 and older, but it's fine for younger children. If they aren't already acquainted with Gandhi and Indian history, however, be prepared to answer a lot of questions during the first few readings. The publisher's website offers a helpful educational guide, including hands-on activities.
 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about rules and fairness. Is it OK to break a rule you think is unfair? Does it matter why or how you defy it? Who decides when a rule is unjust?
  •  
  • Gandhi and his supporters protest what they feel are unjust laws imposed by the British government with nonviolent action. How is this similar to -- and different from -- the American Revolution? Do you think nonviolent protest would have led to American freedom? 

  • Do you like picture books about real people? What other picture book biographies have you read? 

Book details

Author:Alice B. McGinty
Illustrator:Thomas Gonzalez
Genre:History
Topics:Great boy role models, History, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Amazon Children's Publishing
Publication date:April 2, 2013
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Read aloud:6 - 12
Read alone:6 - 12
Available on:Hardback

This review of Gandhi: A March to the Sea was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Educator and Parent Written byEllaK August 10, 2013
age 6+
 

Gandhi for Beginners

This short and gentle introduction to Gandhi highlights just one of his many struggles -- the fight for colonial India to gain access to the salt in the sea. Beautiful, sweeping illustrations and sparse, poetic language bring a touch of magic to this book. It can inspire a lot of good discussion about history and civil rights.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass