These days, it is important to examine examples from the past to define our heroes; the peacemakers, ‘tree-shakers’, rights activists. People of Peace contains forty great examples of men and women through history who have dedicated their lives to creating a better world.
From the early 1800s to the present day, each page features an historical figure, giving a concise outline of their lives and activities in human rights, environmentalism and peace making. Many are familiar, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt. There are some less-known inclusions such as Henri Dunant, Red Cross founder in 1863; Sophie Scholl, the German student who lost her life rebelling against Nazi dictatorship and Jody Williams, the anti-war activist who is fighting a battle against ‘killer robots.’ All of these amazing and dramatic examples are offset with bold, contemporary illustrations that illuminate each figure and more than does justice to their contribution to world peace. The addition of the timeline at the back of the book demonstrates that the quest for peace and rights is an ongoing one.
There are a few problems with this book. Of the forty heroes featured, only twelve are women; a glaring imbalance at a time of honouring women’s rights struggles. And it could have been more inclusive, giving more representation to historical people of colour. Despite this, People of Peace is a fascinating, educational book and a sparkling introduction for children and adults alike that is bound to encourage consideration and discussion. A wonderful one to read together!